Why Does a Dentist Take X-rays?

August 31, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — shelburnedent @ 11:12 am
A dentist pointing to a patient’s dental X-rays

If you get dental checkups, most of their steps should make sense to you. A dentist looks at your teeth to find problems and cleans your smile to prevent new ones. Still, you may wonder why dentists take X-rays of your mouth. Many link this imaging work to broken bones instead of teeth. Well, there’s a good reason for this step. Your Shelburne dental practice will even explain it. Here’s a summary of dental X-rays, their types, and why to get them yearly.

Dental X-rays Show the Big Picture

Ultimately, X-rays aren’t just a way to see if you’ve broken a bone. They can also help dentists get a better grasp of your oral health.

Remember, some mouth parts aren’t visible to the naked eye. (For example, your teeth and gums have their own interiors.) As such, dentists need X-rays to see these areas in further detail. Doing so lets them find and treat problems they otherwise couldn’t detect.

Really, there are many issues dental X-rays help discover. A dentist can use them to discern if you have tooth decay, tooth abscesses, cysts, jawbone loss, and more.

Types of Dental X-Rays

Given your needs, a dentist might have you undergo different dental X-rays. The most common of these are:

  • Bitewing: This dental X-ray locates early signs of tooth decay between back teeth or bicuspids.
  • Periapical: With a periapical dental X-ray, a dentist can focus on just one or two teeth at a time. The resulting image offers a close-up of your whole tooth, from root to crown.
  • Panoramic: A panoramic dental X-ray shows your entire mouth in one image. For that reason, it’s taken from outside your mouth. Once done, it’ll help identify cysts, jaw disorders, or bone issues.

Why Should You Get Dental X-Rays Yearly?

While everyone’s oral health varies, getting dental X-rays about once yearly is a good idea. The habit can do a lot to protect your oral health further.

You see, hidden dental problems can crop up quickly. An obscured cavity or cyst can develop in months. Therefore, regular dental X-rays ensure you don’t leave such issues unattended. Your dentist will have a chance to detect these problems before they have a chance to worsen.

As you can see, it’s good that dentists take X-rays of your mouth. So, get more of this imaging done if you haven’t done so for a while.

About the Practice

Shelburne Village Dentistry is based in Shelburne, VT. Led by Dr. Holly Maier, our practice emphasizes comfortable and compassionate dental care for all. To that end, we tailor our preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services to your unique smile. Our office also uses advanced oral technology, including high-quality dental X-ray tools. If you’d like more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (802)-788-8767.

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