Why Do I Need an X-ray?

It’s time for your checkup again. Part of your exam and oral assessment includes updating your radiographs. Why is getting x-rays so important? At Marconi Dental Group in Carmichael, we understand why you might feel hesitant to get x-rays on a semi-frequent basis, but it’s important to know what a key role they play in your oral health.

See Between and Inside of Your Teeth

With the best glasses, you still can’t see into microscopic grooves of a tooth or where teeth touch one another. An x-ray can. Dr. Alizadeh often uses “bitewing” x-rays to screen for cavities between teeth or under the chewing surfaces of your enamel, where bacteria have a likelihood of leaking in.

Assess Your Bone Quality and Quantity

A periodontal screening with your hygienist can pinpoint areas of gum detachment, but an x-ray is vital to seeing where your bone levels are exactly at. This is especially important if you’re recovering from gum disease or need treatments like a fixed bridge or dental implant.

Check the Margins Around Crowns or Fillings

Once your tooth has a filling or crown, you’re not off the hook. It’s important to keep your tooth clean and examine it regularly to be sure that new decay doesn’t develop around it. An x-ray can sometimes show when a cavity has crept in through the margin.

Monitor Changes and Oral Development

Things like wisdom teeth, tooth development, eruption patterns, and even cysts inside of the mouth can be visible on larger panoramic x-rays. “Panos” are also used to assess areas of the jaw like the TMJ. Most dentists recommend a full mouth x-ray about every three to five years.

Orthodontic Consultations

Getting braces changes what you see above your gumlines, but before you start wearing them, your dentist needs to know what lies underneath! When it comes to the roots of your teeth, impacted teeth, or even wisdom teeth – anatomy plays an important part. You wouldn’t consult a plumber about a problem without letting him see what’s actually under the sink!

They’re Very Safe!

Our Carmichael team steps out of the room when we take patient x-rays because of the fact that we take them daily. But as far as getting x-rays taken of our own teeth or our patients’, it is extremely safe. In fact, you’re exposed to more radiation when you take an airplane ride or are out in the sun for a day. The extremely low rate of radiation used for digital films is nearly 90% less than those of traditional films used in the past.

Has it been over a year since your last dental exam or set of bitewing x-rays? Have you had a full-mouth series of films in the past five years? These timelines are generally considered a standard of care for most healthy individuals. If you’re behind on your check-up, schedule a visit with Dr. Alizadeh at Marconi Dental Group in Carmichael today!

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