Do you know why dental x-rays are essential during a regular dental visit? With the help of dental x-rays, dentists can look deeper into the surface of teeth to determine the root cause of a dental issue. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of x-rays in dentistry, the type of x-rays, and when and why they are required. Also, get to know why you should choose TruCare Dentistry for your dental concerns.
What are dental x-rays?
Dental x-rays, also known as dental radiographs, are the images of teeth used by dentists to evaluate their patient’s oral health. Dental x-rays use a low level of electromagnetic radiation to capture the inside images of teeth and gums. The bones and teeth can easily absorb the x-ray radiation. With the help of special film or digital sensors, this absorption can be measured and presented into an image, like a photograph.
These x-rays allow dentists to see and analyze the areas past the mouth’s tissues, such as gums. They can also see the deeper areas of the teeth and jaw bone to find out any abnormalities. Dentists use these x-rays for various purposes, such as:
- To recognize dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, etc.
- To find hidden dental structures.
- To determine jaw malposition or shift in the teeth
- To discover bone loss issues, etc.
This is how dentists can easily determine the indicators of oral health issues that may be difficult to see with an ordinary examination.
Types of dental x-rays
All the dental x-rays are not the same. They may vary depending on the purpose of your visit to a dentist. In general, x-rays can be categorized as:
- Therapeutic x-rays
- Diagnostic x-rays
Therapeutic x-rays: A standard dental visit that comprises an oral examination and teeth cleaning usually needs therapeutic x-rays. General dentists use these types of x-rays to get a holistic vision of their patient’s teeth and mouth. The clear view of the inside of the mouth allows dentists to determine any possible signs of oral health problems that may need further investigation. Different types of x-rays that come under the therapeutic x-ray category include:
- Panoramic x-rays: These x-rays are taken with the help of a machine that rotates around the head and takes a full image of the roots of the teeth, jaw, and their placement.
- Bitewing x-rays: These types of x-rays provide a view of more than a few teeth. Bitewing x-rays use a technique that involves biting on a special piece of paper or plastic, allowing the dentist to look at the overall oral health of his patients and determine any potential dental issues.
- Occlusal x-rays: Occlusal x-rays are done to capture all the teeth in one film. It is generally required by the dentist to view how the upper and lower teeth line up when the mouth is closed. These x-rays can also be used to detect any abnormalities in the palate.
Diagnostic x-rays: Diagnostic x-rays are quite different from therapeutic x-rays. Dentists usually require these types of x-rays when planning for a major dental treatment such as root canal, dental fillings, dental implants, etc. For instance, before performing the root canal procedure, the dentist may need an x-ray to view the image of the entire tooth, all the way from the top, known as the crown, to the bottom, also known as the root. Based on the x-ray image of the tooth and its surrounding area, a dentist can plan a dental procedure effectively.
When and why dental x-rays are required?
Most patients usually go for two routine checkups in a year. These check-ups are scheduled every six months. In most cases, general dentists require their patients to get dental x-rays done once a year. So, when going for any routine dental check-ups, the dentist can ask for a dental x-ray to determine the overall oral health, including teeth, jaw, and bone beneath.
Getting x-rays done once a year helps dentists to know the real oral health condition of their patients. Without x-rays, it may become difficult for a dentist to detect various abnormalities like jaw malposition, teeth shift, bone loss, and others via a routine examination. Dental x-rays clearly show the inside of the bone and beneath the teeth. Dental x-rays help catch these kinds of abnormalities on time, thereby helping dentists provide the right treatment at the right time before the condition worsens.
Other factors that require dental x-rays
Other than the requirement of x-rays once a year, other factors can also require a dental x-ray. Your dentist may require you to get an x-ray done before treating an oral health condition. Some of the dental issues or conditions can be:
- There are different stages of gum disease that can greatly affect the bone structure. With the help of x-rays, a dentist can easily determine the level of bone loss.
- In the case of orthodontic treatment, a dentist may ask for x-rays to determine the exact position of the teeth and jaw.
- In wisdom tooth eruption, the dentist may require x-rays to see how deep the teeth are.
- A tooth that is being dislodged may affect the whole socket and root system around it. An x-ray can help determine the damage caused by dislodged Dental x-rays clearly show the inside of the bone and beneath the teeth.A routine
- When a person is suffering from severe cavity issues, the dentist may require an x-ray to check for any adverse effect on the bone.
- Screenings of oral cancer may also require x-rays to see the exact condition of the mouth beneath the teeth.
All in all:Dental x-rays help determine the root cause of a dental issue. However, to get the right treatment or consultation, it is vital to contact a professional dentist. At TruCare Dentistry, one can get general dentistry services as well as various specialized dental services, including dental implants, cosmetic procedures, children’s dentistry, periodontal care, and many other services. If you have any queries or dental concerns, feel free to contact us. We have highly qualified professionals who can analyze your condition and offer the best possible treatment.