When arriving for your dentist appointment, you may or may not be required to have dental x-rays. Why? Because they’re not necessary each time you visit; however, on average, you can expect to have them taken once a year. Not only are they helpful in seeing what lies underneath the visible portions of your mouth, but they are helpful in planning treatment should you need it. Find out more about this necessary piece of dentistry, and discover exactly what it is they can tell your dentist about your oral health.
What Types of X-Rays Are Needed?
Surprisingly, there are multiple types of dental x-rays, but the most common include:
- Bitewing X-Rays: These require patients to bite down on a small piece of x-ray film so that a picture can be taken. Most dentists who still use this type of practice will need 4 bitewing x-rays, one detailing each quadrant of the mouth.
- Periapical X-Rays: If the patient is experiencing pain in a specific tooth, it may be necessary for the dentist to take periapical x-rays. This allows the dental team to see the tooth or teeth in question up close, so they can examine to determine the problem.
- Panoramic X-Rays: This is quickly becoming a more popular and advanced method for capturing x-rays. The panoramic x-ray allows your dentist to capture a full view of your mouth. From every tooth to the entire span of your gum line, it will all be there in one image.
Why Are They Important?
When it comes to your oral health, there are two parts: what you can see on the surface and what lies beneath the gum line. Dental x-rays give dentists a more in-depth look at your mouth in its entirety. Whether you’re having problems with tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or even impacted wisdom teeth, these digital images make it possible for your dentist to properly diagnose and treat the problem accordingly. They’re also helpful in monitoring the growth and development of a young child’s teeth.
What Can They Tell My Dentist?
To offer a better understanding of how each type of x-ray helps a dentist during an appointment, let us break it down:
These images allow dentists to see if there are any areas of your mouth that are experiencing decay. There are plenty of nooks and crannies that can be hard to see with the naked eye, but these x-rays help to easily detect problem areas.
If you have a tooth that is infected or seriously damaged, it may not be showing signs of it on the surface. While it might look like a completely normal tooth on the outside, this type of x-ray can show your dentist what is actually happening on the inside and near the root.
Whether you need dental implants placed or wisdom teeth removed, a panoramic x-ray will give your dental team a full view of what’s happening inside your mouth. It’s also beneficial in detecting any signs of a tumor or abscess. Being able to thoroughly examine the status and health of your bone, roots, teeth, and gums can ensure you receive the right method of treatment should a problem arise.
While it might not be the most enjoyable part of a dental visit, dental x-rays can tell a dentist a lot about your oral health. With them, your dental team can effectively treat your problem areas and get your smile back on track.
About the Practice
Brookwood Dental Associates offer patients of all ages the opportunity to receive comprehensive dentistry services performed by highly skilled dental professionals. Whether it is preventive, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry you need, our team is here to ensure your questions are answered and most of all, your oral health is right on track. To learn more about us and how we can help you achieve a healthier smile, contact us at (215) 368-2424.