The short answer to this question is yes. Our pros here at Danville Family Dentistry can tell a lot about your oral health and your teeth just by looking at them. However, a visual examination can’t tell us everything we need to know to keep you healthy.
What are X-Rays Used For?
Mouth X-rays are used to take an in-depth look at your tooth, the roots, the supporting bone, and tissue. They help dentists by:
- Monitoring oral health
- Offering preventive advice
- Finding cavities
- Looking at tooth roots
- Observing the status of developing teeth
- Checking surrounding bones
- Determining the development of gum disease
The Different Types of X-Rays
There are six different kinds of X-rays a dentist might consider, depending on your current problems or health.
- Bitewing—these are the most common dental X-rays used, and you’ve probably used them before. This is where you bite down on a hard piece of plastic, and the dentist can use these images to check for bone health and cavities.
- Occlusal—an occlusal X-ray takes one big picture of your whole mouth, with your mouth closed. The dentist can see how your bite lines up, and they can check for any palate issues.
- Panoramic—this is a dental X-ray taken while you’re standing up, inside a sort of booth. The X-ray machine rotates all around your entire head so that the dentist can see your jaw, placement of teeth, and even your sinuses.
- Periapical—if you’ve never heard of a periapical X-ray, this is where a dentist takes an image of two particular teeth, from root to crown. It can help identify very specific issues.
- Digital—it seems everything is digital these days, even X-rays. Digital X-rays can be used to reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation and can sometimes be more accurate than traditional X-rays.
- Extraoral—an extraoral X-ray usually focuses more on the jaw, when the dentist thinks there might be an issue beyond your teeth and gums.
How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?
If you’re a new patient, most dentists will want to get new X-rays to evaluate your oral health. After all, they’ll need a baseline for advising treatment plans in the future. An X-ray is recommended according to a patient’s needs. So, if you had an X-ray six months ago, but you have a sore tooth, our experts would recommend getting a new X-ray to see what’s going on inside your mouth. Besides being a new patient, or experiencing new pain, dental offices usually want to get new X-rays every year as a way to monitor your oral health.
Are you due for an X-ray? You can call us today at 317-745-4400 to schedule an appointment.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.