You might be diligent about taking proper care of your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly. However, you might wonder why your dentist needs to take routine dental X-rays. As it turns out, dental X-rays can really help your dentist identify problems that may be just developing or invisible during the oral inspection.
Let’s look at what dental X-rays can reveal about your oral health.
Dental X-Rays Can Show Decay that isn’t Visible Yet
Sometimes, it can be difficult to see decay in certain areas, like between two teeth or beneath an existing filling. You might not have pain yet, either. But if your dentist doesn’t address it, you will. Dental X-rays can help catch these kinds of hidden decay, allowing your dental team to be proactive about treatment.
X-Rays Can Show Bone Loss in the Jaw
Dental X-rays can also show if you’re experiencing bone loss in your jaw. This can occur because of certain medications or certain habits, like smoking. It’s important to catch this early since bone loss in the jaw can result in tooth loss, and it can affect treatment for problems like broken or missing teeth.
Dental X-Rays Can Show Infection in the Bone or Root Canal
Many times, an infection in a tooth can spread via the root canal to the bone in your jaw. This is not something that would be visibly obvious, which is why your dentist needs X-rays to detect it. Early detection makes treatment easier and less painful for these types of infections.
Dental X-Rays Can Show Some Types of Cancer
Your dentist can also use X-rays to detect certain types of oral cancer. They can also use them to see if cancer has spread from your mouth to the bone of your jaw. Determining the severity of any type of cancer is important for implementing a successful treatment plan.
X-Rays in Children Can Show Impacted Teeth or Spacing Problems
In children, dentists like to use X-rays to ensure the teeth are developing normally. Impacted teeth, often wisdom teeth (3rd molars), can dramatically affect a child’s oral health. Likewise, a lack of space can cause problems with erupting teeth and a child’s bite.
Catching these problems early can help your dentist develop an appropriate plan of treatment. You want to implement a treatment plan as soon as possible to avoid complications.
Dental X-rays are an important tool that your dentist can use to learn a lot about your oral health. They are part of a comprehensive, preventative medicine approach to dental health. If you need a complete checkup, including dental X-rays, give the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan a call today! Our professional staff is happy to answer all your questions.