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Dental X-rays: What Do They Show?

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When Do You Need X-rays?

Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool that are used to:

  • Plan dental implant treatment. Titanium dental implants are placed in your jaw and eventually bond to the surrounding bone. Bonding can't occur if the bone is too thin or weak. X-rays help your dentist determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. In many cases, bone grafts can be added to strengthen and deepen the bone if it isn't thick enough.
  • Find the source of your pain. Whether you have a painful cavity or have developed an abscess or tumor, X-rays are invaluable in getting to the root of the problem. Once the problem has been identified, your dentist can offer treatment to relieve your pain.
  • Prepare for more complicated procedures. Before your dentist begins oral surgery or another complex procedure, he or she will want to take a few X-rays. X-rays will help him or her avoid nerves and will reveal any malformations, such as crooked teeth roots, that can make the procedure more difficult.

Have you ever wondered why dental X-rays are such an important part of your dental visits? Although visual examinations are important, they offer an incomplete picture of your dental health. X-rays help your dentist look beneath the surface to detect tooth decay and other hidden issues that could affect your oral health.

How Do X-rays Help My Dentist?

Dentist use X-rays to diagnose a variety of problems, including:

X-rays are also used to plan treatments or identify issues that could affect your oral health. Dentists use them to determine the condition of fillings, crowns, and bridges. They can also show impacted wisdom teeth, the absence of teeth, extra teeth beneath your gums, and malformed roots.

What Types of X-rays Does My Dentist Use?

Dentists commonly use four types of X-rays:

Going Digital

Many dentists now use digital X-rays instead of traditional X-rays that must be developed. Because digital X-ray images are computerized, they are available in seconds. If your dentist notices an area of concern, he or she can enlarge, sharpen, and enhance the area on the computer screen to get a better look at the problem. When your dentist superimposes your previous digital X-rays onto your current X-rays, he or she can determine if there have been changes to your teeth since they last saw you.

Has it been a while since you have had X-rays or a dental exam? Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

American Dental Association: X-rays

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x/x-rays

MedlinePlus: Dental X-rays, 2/25/14

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003801.htm

Cleveland Clinic: Types of Dental X-rays

Our staff of dental professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve your dental wellness objectives. Thank you for subscribing to our dental wellness newsletter.

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