Importance of Dental X-rays
A dental x-ray is an invaluable tool which can provide information about your teeth that cannot be seen by clinical examination alone. Early tooth decay may not show any outward physical sign meaning that the tooth can look completely healthy to the naked eye. A dental x-ray allows the dentist to see what is happening below the enamel of your teeth, underneath fillings and crowns, at the roots of your teeth, between your teeth, and check for any bone loss around your teeth. This is critical information for the dentist in order to keep you dentally fit and your teeth healthy. It also allows for dental problems to be spotted at an early stage which can save you both time and money.
As a part of your routine dental examination, your dentist should be taking x-rays of your teeth at regular intervals. The frequency of dental x-rays in large part depends on the patient’s history of decay, their age, and the condition of their mouth. As a general rule x-rays will be recommended every 6 to 24 months.
The x-ray and photos below illustrate an example of the potential hidden dental problems that can be detected by dental x-rays. This patient had x-rays taken at their last dental visit.
From the x-ray, Tim was able to diagnose an area of decay beneath the outer surface of the tooth enamel. The arrow points at a dark area which is how decay shows up on x-rays. The x-ray indicates that the decay started between the teeth and after getting through the outer layer of enamel mushroomed out into the dentine of the tooth.
Once all of the decay is removed, Tim could then rebuild the tooth using composite.
If you have not been for a dental examination or had dental x-rays taken of your teeth recently, give our reception team a call to book an examination with one of our dentists. This is a very important part of ensuring the health of your teeth.