Tempted to pass on your routine x-rays at every dental visit?
You aren’t too keen on the idea of being exposed to extra radiation. But getting at least a few x-ray images of your teeth at your dentist’s recommendation is essential to a healthy mouth.
Dentists are blind without x-rays – You’d never get a 100% accurate diagnosis or treatment plan if your dentist had to do so without x-rays. These images are the only way to look into teeth and bone without physically opening them up.
X-rays detect problems early on – When do you want to be diagnosed with a cavity: when your tooth has a painful raging abscess in need of a root canal? Or when the decay is a tiny spot in need of a little filling?
Your next dental procedure will be safer thanks to x-rays – You can’t dig a well without first checking to make sure there’s water . . . and no electrical lines. Similarly, a dentist can’t safely drill without knowing what’s going on underneath tooth enamel.
X-rays are the best way to track development – No one can know whether adult teeth are present or where they are until they show up. But at that point, it could be too late. X-rays are vital in getting to know how a child’s smile is developing and help dentists decide when to intervene to stop a problem.
If you’re concerned about how often x-rays are taken, discuss it with your dentist. Some people are at high risk for things like decay, bone loss, or cancer. They may need more frequent x-rays to check for signs of a problem.
Schedule your next dental check-up soon, whether or not it includes x-rays!
Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
For the majority of dental patients, bitewing x-rays are taken once a year during your routine dental check-up. Although bitewings are essential for diagnostic and treatment needs, most people find themselves wondering why these films are taken on a regular basis. Here are some important things you should know about why your dentist needs to take the 4 to 7 films once a year:
Bitewings show the level of bone around your teeth.
Our bone levels determine whether or not our teeth will last an entire lifetime. Bone loss caused by gum disease can normally be halted if the right treatment is implemented in time.
Bitewings indicate where decay is beginning to form between the teeth.
A visual exam alone is not enough to check for cavities between your teeth. Your dentist needs to see these areas on an x-ray to determine if early signs of cavities are present. The earlier the decay is found, the less invasive treatment (and more affordable) your treatment needs become. In fact, the earliest forms of cavities may be able to be treated without a filling!
Bitewings reveal large areas of calculus (tartar) for your hygienist.
Large deposits of calculus can cause gum disease as well as bone loss around the teeth. Although most of this is felt through instrumentation, being able to visualize buildup on x-ray films can increase the thoroughness of your cleaning.
Sometimes bitewings are used to monitor eruption patterns.
In younger children, bitewings reveal which of the back teeth are beginning to exfoliate (fall out) and be replaced by permanent ones. They can also show when adult teeth are missing.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
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