Are Routine Dental X-rays Important?

Are Routine Dental X-rays Important?

Dec 01, 2022

When you visit your dentist for a toothache or jaw pain, they will examine your mouth to determine the exact cause of your problem and establish a long-term solution. While the dentist can use visual and physical exams to examine your mouth, you might need more information regarding your issue. For instance, the dentist can’t see the inside of the tooth or jawbone with the naked eye. That’s where dental X-rays come in.

However, you might wonder why you need routine dental X-rays if you have excellent oral health. Keep reading to learn more about dental X-rays, their benefits, and how often you can have them.

What are Dental Exams?

Dental X-rays or radiography are a form of energy that can pass through and be absorbed by solid objects like teeth and bone. The energy produces light-colored images on the X-ray film. X-rays show precise interior details of your teeth, gums, jawbone, and mouth that can’t be seen with a visual exam. It allows the dentist to diagnose oral problems accurately, faster, and easier.

A dentist can use dental X-ray to look for:

  • Tooth decay
  • Decay in existing fillings
  • Oral cysts and tumors
  • Dental abscesses
  • Bone loss, injuries, or disorders
  • Gum disease
  • Joint disorders
  • Condition of teeth, gums, or bone when performing procedures like impacted tooth extraction, bone grafts, tooth implants, and orthodontic treatments.

Dental X-rays in children help to check for:

  • Oral diseases like tooth decay
  • Development of wisdom teeth
  • Proper teeth and jaw development
  • Overcrowding or poor bite

Types of Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays are categorized into two main types: Intraoral and extraoral X-rays. Intraoral X-rays show the various aspects of the teeth. These include bitewing X-rays, bitewing X-rays, and occlusal X-rays. Extraoral X-rays show details of the jaw and skull. They include tomograms, panoramic X-rays, MRI imaging, and dental computed tomography (CT). Visit our dental office for dental X-rays near you.

Benefits of Dental X-rays

With an X-ray, a dentist can adequately observe your oral tissues’ visible and interior parts like teeth, gums, jawbone, and surrounding connective tissues. Without X-rays, the dentist can only see the outer structure, making it difficult to diagnose the underlying problem accurately.

You won’t get a suitable and long-term solution for your problem without a correct diagnosis. Your condition will likely progress gradually, leading to severe and life-threatening complications like tooth loss, bite changes, and death (oral cancer).

Routine dental X-rays enable early detection and diagnosis of oral issues like cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer when treatment is much more successful, easier, faster, and cheaper. Consequently, early treatment prevents further damage and the need for invasive and costly future treatments. It also prevents severe discomfort, swelling, and other symptoms associated with untreated conditions. In cases of serious conditions like oral cancer, dental X-rays can save your life!

Additionally, dental X-rays can help a dentist diagnose and treat oral issues that might affect your physical health. For instance, untreated gum disease can increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and heart problems. A dentist can also help detect health issues like arthritis and diabetes through oral examinations.

Dental X-rays help the dentist monitor dental and oral development in children. In case of a problem, the dentist will provide the necessary corrective measures to avoid future problems. For instance, a dentist can remove a baby tooth that fails to fall out on time, giving room for the permanent tooth to erupt. It prevents overcrowding and misalignments in the future.

Lastly, by facilitating early and accurate diagnosis and treatment of oral issues, dental X-rays save you hundreds of hours and dollars you would use for corrective treatments in the future.

How often should you get X-rays?

How often you can have dental X-rays can vary. The bare minimum is annually or twice yearly. Children require more exams since the dentist has to monitor their oral development. Individuals with ongoing orthodontics and periodontal treatments might need more dental X-rays. Visit our dental office near you to determine when you can have dental X-rays.

Schedule an appointment today with our dentist in Claremont, NH

Have you not had an X-ray recently? Contact Claremont Dental Group for dental X-rays and preventive dentistry in Claremont, NH.

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