How Dental X-Rays Help Diagnose and Treat Common Dental Problems

How Dental X-Rays Help Diagnose and Treat Common Dental Problems

May 01, 2023

Dental x-rays are images of teeth your dentist uses to assess oral health. The x-rays are taken with low radiation levels to capture images of the insides of your teeth and gums.

Dental x-rays help dentists identify various issues with your teeth invisible to the naked eye. The process of providing x-rays seems complex, but they are standard tools essential similar to six monthly dental cleanings.

Why Are Dental X-Rays Taken?

Dental x-rays are generally taken annually. However, they become necessary if your dentist tracks a dental issue’s progress or treatment. Factors determining how often you may need dental x-rays include age, current oral health, symptoms of oral infections, history of periodontal disease or tooth decay, et cetera.

If you are a new patient of the dentist in Colombia, SC, you will undergo dental x-rays as the new dentist needs a clear picture of your dental health. Therefore, it becomes imperative if you still need to have earlier records of x-rays from your previous dentist.

What Problems Do Dental X-Rays Help Detect?

  • Detecting Tooth Decay: Tooth decay is not always visible on the tooth surfaces. Pollution can occur between teeth, which is challenging for dentists to see before aggravating advanced conditions. Dental x-rays assist dentists in examining the teeth from the surface and the interiors making it easier for them to suggest preventive therapies to halt the progress of this problem. Early detection of tooth decay minimizes expenditure and prevents permanent damage to the teeth by cavities that gradually expand into severe complications.
  • Evaluating Tooth Roots and Jawbone: Your teeth are attached to your jaw by their roots. The tooth crown is the visible portion you can see in your mouth. However, your tooth roots and jawbone remain hidden and are invisible to dentists. If you have infections like periodontal disease that can impact your tooth roots and jawbone, dentists will require dental x-rays to evaluate them and provide treatments like flap surgery or gum grafting to ensure the condition does not cause tooth loss. X-rays help dentists view the tooth structure from the insides to assess the health of the roots and the jawbone to provide appropriate treatments.
  • Accessing Developmental Problems: Children need dental x-rays more often than adults because their dentist must monitor developmental problems with their teeth and the growth of their permanent teeth. Dental x-rays are beneficial because they help the dentist determine if primary teeth require extraction to prevent complications such as permanent teeth growing behind the baby teeth.
  • Diagnosing TMJ Disorders: when you visit the dentist near you complaining of jaw pain, they evaluate your condition by performing a physical exam. If you have issues with opening and closing your mouth or biting and chewing, it may indicate symptoms of TMJ disorders with the joints connecting your jaw to your skull. In such cases, dentists need dental x-rays before recommending a combination of treatments to help you alleviate discomfort and lead a regular life.
  • Monitoring Oral Health: Oral health problems can strike in many forms, some undetectable by the naked eye. However, a dental x-ray near you can help dentists monitor your oral health to keep it in optimal shape by taking images of the interiors of your mouth and jaw to detect problems.

What Kind of X-Rays do Dentists Take?

Different versions of x-rays record different views of your mouth, and the dentist determines which x-ray best suits your needs. For example, if you do not have any problems in your mouth, dental x-rays in Colombia, SC, may determine an occlusal x-ray capturing an image of all your teeth in one shot is the optimal method. On the other hand, if they need to focus on teeth from the root to the crown, the dentist suggests a periapical x-ray. Extraoral x-rays are indicated if your dentist suspects you might have problems in the areas outside your gums and teeth, like your jaw. However, you need not fear dental x-rays because the process is entirely painless, and in many cases, dentists use digital x-rays to review images and check for abnormalities.

Similar to brushing and flossing regularly, dental x-rays are also integral to your oral health. Depending on your age, health, and insurance coverage, Drs Ellis, Green, and Jenkins suggest x-rays yearly or biannually. However, you must remain committed to seeing your dentist sooner if you experience pain or any changes in your mouth to help them monitor your oral health with the help of dental x-rays.

We Care Dental SC suggest dental x-rays for adults and children to monitor their oral health. If you have not received a dental exam for over six months, expect to provide x-rays when you visit them for your routine exams soon.