It may seem odd that your dentist requires x-rays of your teeth to be taken every so often since most dental concerns are at a surface level. Yet there are several issues that your dentist cannot see without the use of an x-ray.
Why Dentists Take X-rays
To find cavities and tooth decay – While decay can become apparent on the surface of the tooth, it can be difficult to tell the extent of the damage by examining the surface of the tooth alone. Since decay shows up on an x-ray, they are useful in finding which teeth have cavities, the amount of decay, and how far into the tooth it has gone. X-rays can help a dentist determine whether a patient simply needs a filling, or has to have a root canal.
Reveal bone loss – Severe gum disease, or periodontal disease, can cause the jaw bone to begin to deteriorate. It is almost impossible for your dentist to tell that the bone is deteriorating, or the amount that already has, without the use of an x-ray. With digital x-rays your dentist will be able to find out where most of the bone loss is happening so they can treat it properly.
Wisdom teeth – Most people have their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or early twenties before they can cause problems. X-rays will allow your dentist to keep an eye on them as they grow in so they can determine if they are growing in correctly, will have enough room, or are impacted.
Orthodontic treatments – You may be able to see if teeth are crooked simply by looking at them, yet only about a third of your tooth is actually visible. Before your dentist can start orthodontic treatments, they will need to take an x-ray to evaluate the position of the root and whether certain treatments will be more beneficial than other.
Digital X-rays and Oral Health
Most dental offices will use digital x-rays which use much less radiation, and can be saved directly to a computer. They are vital to helping your dentist diagnose and treat most dental concerns, and allow them to be more efficient. If you live in the Spokane Valley, WA area and would like to know more about x-rays and their purpose, please contact our office.