Dental x-rays may seem unimportant, but they play a vital role in the health of your teeth. Routine dental x-rays are an essential part of the diagnostic and preventive processes that we take when protecting the future of your smile. X-rays ensure a comprehensive approach to your exam, and give us insight into things that aren’t visible with the naked eye.
Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t skip dental x-rays:
X-rays Identify Tooth Decay in Areas that Aren’t Visible During an Exam
During your exam, the dentists at Marconi Dental Group will thoroughly assess all of the visible areas of your teeth. However, some cavities cannot be spotted during a clinical exam. For instance, cavities between the teeth – right where the teeth are touching one another. Cavities also develop around existing restorations, which could spread rapidly if not diagnosed early.
In the deep pits of the chewing surfaces, cavities can also leak down into the tooth. On the outside the teeth look fine – but on an x-ray, a dark shadow can be seen.
Identifying these areas early mean you can have a smaller, less-invasive, more affordable filling. Waiting until the tooth hurts or breaks means the treatment will be more extensive.
X-Rays Pinpoint Bone Levels Around Your Teeth
Periodontal exams are able to measure the gum attachment around your tooth surfaces. But x-rays will show how much bone is actually around your teeth. If bone loss is evident, it could cause tooth loss in the future. It also prevents other types of treatments from being able to be performed. Rampant bone loss can be treated through therapies like periodontal scaling and root planing, bone grafts, and regular maintenance.
Dental X-Rays Help to Monitor Root Health, Tooth Development and Eruption Patterns
Conditions like abscesses, cracked roots, impacted teeth and cysts may only be seen on an x-ray. When teeth are impacted, infected or interfering with the rest of your mouth, we use x-rays to see what actions should be taken. For teens, these films are important to inspect wisdom teeth, perform orthodontic consultations and observe eruption patterns.
Most of the time, we will take a series of “bitewing” x-rays once a year. Periapical x-rays are taken as needed, to see around the entire root (such as during emergencies or root canal treatments.) Every 3 to 5 years, we will also take a full mouth x-ray to monitor the overall health of your entire mouth. These full mouth films assess everything from the TMJ, sinuses, and overall oral health. If you’re a new patient, we’ll take a set of full mouth films in order to establish a baseline to compare your future visits with.
Marconi Dental Group uses low-radiation digital x-rays. These films are extremely safe and use up to 90% less radiation than traditional dental x-rays. Plus, the images are available right on an in-room monitor for you to view during your exam! You’ll be able to talk through the findings with our dentists and co-plan your own therapy. If you have any questions, we’ll be more than happy to answer them for you.
If you haven’t had dental x-rays in over a year or more, call Marconi Dental Group today!