Have you ever wondered why your dentist takes so many x-ray images of your teeth? Perhaps you wonder whether they are really necessary. Here are some reasons why dental x-rays are so helpful to dentists.
1. Dental X-Rays Can Identify Decay Early
Dentists look for decay while they poke around inside your mouth during a checkup, but dental x-rays can give them a much more comprehensive picture of the areas that are difficult to check during a visual examination. For example, dental x-rays are often the best option for spotting the early signs of tooth decay inside or between the teeth. If your dentist spots this decay early, they can treat it before it spreads further into the tooth.
2. Dental X-Rays Show Decay Under Fillings
Dental fillings create a seal on a tooth affected by decay, which usually helps to stop the spread of decay further into the tooth. However, sometimes bacteria can slip under the dental filling and cause tooth decay on the inside of the tooth, where it is difficult to spot. A dental x-ray can show this decay before it starts to cause problems such as toothache.
3. Dental X-Rays Allow Dentists to Monitor Bone Loss
Bone loss is a common symptom of advanced periodontal disease. It can be difficult to tell from looking inside the mouth how severe the bone loss is and whether it requires immediate treatment with a graft or implant. By allowing dentists to monitor the rate of bone loss, dental x-rays make it possible to see whether periodontal disease is spreading or receding, which can help to guide treatment decisions.
4. Dental X-Rays Can Reveal Root Infections
Infections in the root of the tooth often cause pressure-like pain in their early stages, which can feel a bit like sinus-related pressure. Typically, no visible signs of the infection present in the mouth until the infection is more advanced, which can make diagnosis difficult. A dental x-ray that shows the root tip can reveal an infection there, allowing your dentist to prescribe antibiotics or carry out a root canal procedure to clear the infection and save the tooth.
5. Dental X-Rays Guide Orthodontic Treatment
Dental x-rays are essential if you want to get orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile. It is important for the orthodontist to be able to see not only the positions of the crowns of the teeth but also their positions under the gums.