Dental x-rays are an important diagnostic tool in the treatment planning of most patients. X-rays can detect certain issues that a physical dental exam isn’t able to detect, so they are crucial when it comes to planning procedures and helping with dental emergencies.
What is a Dental X-ray and Why are They Important?
Dental x-rays are radiographs taken of your teeth and jaw. They help the dentist to see things that are going on underneath the surface of the tooth that could go undetected with a regular dental exam. The reason dental x-rays are important is because they are essential in the overall diagnostic work being done for each patient. Because these x-rays use very little radiation, they are safe for patients of all ages and needs. Below is a list of just some of the things that can be found on a dental x-ray:
- Dental decay
- Periapical abscesses
- Impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth
- Bone loss
- Deep cavities
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Tooth roots
- Developing teeth
When Should You Have X-rays Taken?
It is advised to have a full series of x-rays taken every three years. You will have four bite-wing x-rays taken at each bi-annual appointment. A bite wing x-ray is an x-ray that highlights the crowns of your back teeth, which allows the dentist to see if there is any decay on your back teeth. Other x-rays may be needed depending on what type of care or treatment is needed. For example, patients undergoing orthodontic work may be required to have a panoramic radiograph taken, which is an x-ray of your whole mouth and nasal cavities, and those who are undergoing surgery may need a dental CT scan, which would show a 3-D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerves and bone.
What to Expect
You can expect to have x-rays taken at most appointments, even preventative care appointments. Not only are they beneficial for procedures but these x-rays are crucial to identifying problems that could be happening underneath the surface of the teeth and gums. At Webster Family Dental, we strive to provide you with comfortable and convenient options concerning your x-rays.
If you need to have dental x-rays taken or would like to inquire further about x-rays, contact us today and one of our helpful staff members will be happy to assist you!