Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

When you attend a routine dental appointment, the dentist will take the opportunity to perform a visual exam of your smile. They can spot problems with your oral health this way. But not all dental issues are visible to the naked eye. So to ensure you get the best preventative dental care possible, a dentist will also recommend that you receive annual x-rays at your dentist’s office.

This type of imaging is completely safe for patients of all ages. And this tool will allow your dentist to view the interior of your teeth and jaw for more precise and thorough dental diagnoses.

You can feel more confident in pursuing this routine imaging when you understand the crucial role it can play in your overall well-being. Read on to learn three of the many oral health benefits you can experience when you receive regular dental x-rays.

preventative oral health care with routine dental x-rays

Preventative Dental Care with X-Ray Imaging

Diagnose Tooth Decay

Cavities, early forms of tooth decay, can sometimes come with visible symptoms. They may appear as holes in the surface of the teeth or as white, brown, or black spots. But cavities can also develop in hidden places, such as between the teeth.

Though less visible there, this decay still poses the same serious threat to the structure of your smile. To ensure a dentist does not miss any signs of tooth decay, they recommend routine dental x-rays.

A cavity will show up clearly on this imaging. Then the dentist can intervene and treat the cavity quickly before it advances and causes lasting damage to your oral health.

Evaluate Tooth Pulp Health

Your tooth pulp, the innermost layer of your tooth, contains nerves and blood vessels that can become damaged for a number of reasons. Non-vital tooth pulp can sometimes present with discoloration or pain. But often, it does not come with noticeable symptoms at all.

Non-vital tooth pulp occurs when blood cannot flow properly to the pulp to create what is commonly referred to as a dead tooth. Though not a dental emergency inherently, it makes the tooth more vulnerable to infections. If you have an infected tooth pulp, you will likely need root canal therapy.

To spot tooth pulp problems, you will need an x-ray to reveal the inside of the tooth. Then your dentist can monitor your condition and intervene when necessary.

Monitor Tooth Growth

Most people will see their permanent adult teeth all grown into place by the time they reach adolescence. But teeth might shift out of their position due to poor oral habits or other reasons. A dentist can keep an eye on your teeth and their alignment with x-ray imaging.

Then the dentist can intervene and offer advice to protect your smile before too many changes develop. Many dental patients also have wisdom teeth, an extra set of molars that often grow with complications to the rest of your mouth.

The dentist can use x-rays to monitor wisdom teeth growth. If they harm your other teeth or grow impacted, the dentist can extract the teeth before they cause further complications.