As a dental office, our top priority is to take the best possible care of our patients. One way we provide quality care is by taking dental x-rays.A visual exam does not provide all of the information needed. Dental x-rays, also called radiographs, provide a clear picture of what is going on beneath the gum line, in between teeth, and inside of each tooth. They can help to detect early stages of cavities, gum disease and other oral issues such as cysts or abscesses that have formed on the root tips of teeth.
Different types of x-rays are taken depending on what the patient is in the office for. Whether it is pain or sensitivity, or just a routine hygiene visit, a dental x-ray may be necessary for properly treating you. The most common type of x-rays taken are called bitewing x-rays, which allow the doctor to see the crown portion of molars and to check for early signs of decay in between or inside of the teeth. A periapical x-ray is the type of x-ray that allows the doctor to see gum height and the root tips of specific teeth. If an abscess is present, this will show up clearly on this type of radiograph. A panoramic radiograph is generally used when trying to see the entire oral cavity in a single, large image. This type of radiograph can show impaction of teeth, whether it is wisdom teeth or delayed baby teeth and can also show jaw disorders or irregularities.
Because dental x-rays are so important in diagnosing and treating issues, the frequency for how often they are needed can vary per patient. Typically, a set of bitewing x-rays are taken annually, while a full set of x-rays (bitewings and periapicals or a panoramic) is take every 3-5 years depending on age or cavity risk. A full set of x-rays is an excellent baseline if a patient is new to a practice. It allows the doctor to see each tooth fully and allows a priority list of treatment to follow, if necessary.
If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity, and cannot identify exactly where it is coming from, dental x-rays are the best way to detect what the cause of the problem may be. If a problem arises, and pain starts to occur or a tooth is broken, usually an x-ray is necessary to identify the problem and determine the best course of treatment.
For the month of September, we want to get to the root of any problem you may have! Schedule an appointment for a limited exam and we will diagnose your problem for only the cost of the x-ray!