Your teeth change all the time, and that’s why routine dental check-ups are essential to good oral health. When you visit your dentist, he or she checks the health of your teeth, existing restorations, signs of soft tissue abnormalities, and symptoms of developing diseases like tooth decay or periodontal disease. There are some things that your dentist can’t see, even with the best equipment. That’s why dental x-rays are an essential part of keeping your teeth healthier, longer.
For most people, routine bitewing x-rays are typically taken once per year. Bitewing x-rays check the areas between the teeth for cavities, as well as bone levels around the back teeth to check for any signs of bone loss. Early diagnosis of these conditions allows for early intervention, keeping your teeth healthier and the cost of treatment lower.
People that have frequent cavities may need to have bitewing x-rays taken twice a year, depending on the preference of your dentist. Other types of dental x-rays such as panoramic or full mouth series are usually taken once every 3-5 years to compare to baseline x-rays that show normal anatomical structures. Eruption patterns, sinus structures, the TMJ area and oral pathologies are assessed on these films, as they show angles not visible with routine bitewing x-rays.
If you’ve having treatment on a specific tooth, your dentist will also likely take a periapical x-ray film that will show the entire length of the tooth from crown to tip of the root. These are typically used when root canal therapy or crowns are being performed.
Sometimes you can bring your old x-rays from other dentists, but the quality, angle, or date taken may not be adequate for your current dentist’s needs. New x-ray films are typically taken to meet your new dentist’s diagnostic specifications.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Omar Damji, Executive Park Dentistry
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