Dental X-Rays, Why Does Your Dentist Take Them?
Have you ever gone to see you dentist for your regular cleaning and checkup and your Hygienist says “today we are going to update your dental x-rays”, and you say OK even though you’re unsure if you really need them and are too embarrassed to ask why you should? Well fear no more, here is your guide to when and why your dentist may take dental x-rays!
The 4 main reasons:
1. Dental x-rays to examine the area before beginning a procedure
Dentists need a clear view of the bone, crown & root of the tooth for most procedures. When doing a root canal, the dentist needs to know the length of your root in order to properly take out the infection and not pierce through the root. When placing implants, they require dental x-rays to know the density of the bone and the size of implant the needs to be used in each case. For Orthodontic treatment it is important to have a panoramic & cephlometric dental x-ray to look at tooth eruption patterns, bone & face structure and overall tooth/root positioning. When you have an emergency where you break or fracture a tooth, a dental x-ray can tell a whole new story as opposed to visually looking at the tooth. How far is the tooth cracked, has it hit the nerve, can this tooth be saved?
2. Dental x-rays to look for infection at the tip of the root
An infection can appear at the very bottom of the tooth’s root and will not be visible to the dentist without an x-ray. When a patient complains of tooth pain, especially when biting down or during the “hot/cold test” and there is nothing visibly wrong with the tooth the dentist will take an x-ray to dismiss the possibility of infection.
3. Dental x-rays to check for cavities/decay under existing fillings
Sometimes cavities can occur under existing crowns or fillings and will only be visible by taking an x-ray
4. Dental x-rays to Checking for decay between teeth
Sometimes cavities can exist in between teeth, that dentists are unable to see without taking a dental x-ray. We generally take the “cavity-detecting” dental x-rays on a yearly basis unless you’re at “high-risk” for cavities, we would take them every 6 months. The frequency of routine x-rays for cavity screening is all patient dependent. The factors that guide us to the decision on the frequency are history of cavities, oral hygiene habits, medical history/medications, quality of present restorations and diet.
Eatonville Dental prides itself on being a modern practice with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. We offer all of our patients digital x-rays that are up to 90% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays. We are here for you and your dental health. It is our responsibility to answer any questions or concerns you may have, so please to not hesitate to ask before any treatment or dental x-rays are taken.