Dentists can tell a lot about the condition of your teeth just by looking inside your mouth, but sometimes they need to look a bit deeper. X-rays are a vital tool for dentists as they can often spot problems before you start to feel any pain or discomfort. They can also be used for something as simple as finding out whether or not you need a filling.

Because only a small amount of radiation used is for dental x-rays, there is only a very slight risk. If you are pregnant, though, you must tell your dentist before you have an x-ray as it might harm your unborn child.

Radiation is around us all the time (background radiation). Two bitewing (side) x-rays would be the equivalent of eight hours exposed to ordinary background radiation, or the same amount of radiation from a return flight to Spain.