Will having dental x-rays hurt?

Rita Medwid

The taking of x-rays does not usually hurt. But some people may find it uncomfortable to bite on the holder. After, there can be a sore spot in the mouth from the pressure of the holder. If you go to bite on the holder and it doesn't feel right, because it is leaning too much on the gum tissue or jawbone, then tell the person taking the x-rays to readjust the film. They will be happy to make the visit as comfortable as possible. 

Dental x-rays serve as a valuable tool to your dentist when evaluating your oral health because many diseases in the mouth cannot be seen. Dental x-rays do not hurt and may help identify decay, bone damage or loss, and the position of unerupted teeth in children and adults. They can also help your dentist examine the effects of trauma on the teeth and identify some types of tumors.
Not usually, however some patients do experience discomfort with dental x-rays. This happens when the patient is tense and the floor of the mouth becomes raised which makes the x-ray or the holder dig into the mouth. The trick is to make your mouth as relaxed as possible so the x-ray can be taken painlessly.
Dental X-rays do not hurt. During a bitewing x-ray, the most common type of x-ray, you simply bite on a thick paper tab while the x-ray is taken. The process is painless and results are immediate.

Tell your dentist if you are pregnant, as pregnant women are advised to wait until after pregnancy to have a dental x-ray.
The short answer is absolutely not....the x-rays themselves do not hurt.

The dentist, hygienist, or assistant will take the necessary steps to make the placement of the film or x-ray sensor as comfortable as possible. Depending on the anatomy of the patient's mouth, the size of the film or sensor and the location to be evaluated, this can at times be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, the film or sensor must be carefully placed to get a good picture of the area in question.

If intraoral pictures are not possible for a variety of reasons, extraoral radiographs may be necessary. This may be possible in the office of the family dentist or at another location.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.