5 Reasons Our Dentists Use Dental X-Rays
We believe that knowledge empowers our patients, giving them the chance to play a more active role in their oral care. Some patients may believe that dental x-rays are a waste of time. However, these little snapshots are vital for identifying and treating potential dental issues. These are the top 5 reasons our dentists use dental x-rays.
#1 – To look for decay between a patient’s teeth.
Our teeth have tons of tiny nooks and crevices where decay can develop. Some of these areas are hard, if not impossible, to see with your dentist’s naked eyes! To identify tooth decay between the teeth, dentists often use x-rays referred to as “bite wings.” These x-rays give the dentist the advantage of early detection for potential cavities a patient may have.
#2 – To identify bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal disease affects 75% of American adults to some extent. It has also been correlated with many systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, through the Oral Systemic Link. Bone loss is one of the many symptoms of gum disease that a patient may experience. In many cases, x-rays are needed to discover how advanced the bone loss is. This allows our doctors to determine what the best method of treatment is based on each patient’s individual needs.
#3 – To locate tooth decay underneath dental fillings.
While it’s not common, in some cases, tooth decay can develop underneath dental fillings. These cavities are harder to identify, as they occur below the filling’s surface. This is an area that is hard for a dentist to see. Often times an x-ray is needed to locate these hidden dental caries. This allows our dentists to assess potential issues, limiting the amount of invasive treatment a patient receives.
#4 – To search for infection at the tip of a tooth’s root.
Contrary to popular belief, tooth infections aren’t limited to above the gums. In fact, infections can even occur at the tip of a tooth’s root, near the patient’s jawbone. The only way the dentist can confirm this kind of tooth infection is using a series of dental x-rays. These x-rays will also help the dentist determine the best course of treatment for such infections.
#5 – To examine a patient’s teeth and surrounding area before a procedure.
Our dentists have received extensive dental training, making them experts in their field. They know the importance of the big picture. This is why our doctors always look at the full picture before doing any operations. Only one third of a patient’s tooth is above the surface. By utilizing dental x-rays, our dentists know exactly where they will be working, as well as learn of any potential issues that may occur.
Preventive dentistry is an important part of maintaining good, lifelong oral health. X-rays are an irreplaceable tool for our dentists to identify and treat our patients’ dental problems to the best of our abilities. For more information on dental x-rays and how they improve the treatment our patients receive, please feel free to contact us.