The Purpose of Dental X-Rays


If you have a dental checkup on the horizon, you may wonder if you will need X-rays at this appointment. Many people do not understand why dentists need dental X-rays Happy Valley Oregon. However, the importance of this diagnostic tool cannot be overstated. Consider these three things that a dentist looks for on a dental X-ray, and you might be more willing to have them taken at your next appointment.

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is sneaky. Many patients do not even realize they have it until it is in the advanced stages. However, a dentist can diagnose periodontal disease in the early stages by studying dental X-rays. Gum disease causes the bone around your teeth to recede. If left untreated, the teeth fall out because there is no bone support left. Your dentist can monitor bone loss on your X-rays to prevent this from happening.

Diagnosing Cavities

Cavities are not always visible in the mouth. In fact, a lot of cavities start between the teeth. These areas can only be viewed on a dental X-ray film. Cavities tend to grow quickly, so you need to have X-rays taken regularly. Cavities are much easier to treat in the early stages. If left untreated, they can quickly cause problems.

Diagnosing an Abscessed Tooth

One type of dental X-ray, a periapical film, allows a dentist to see the tip of the root of a tooth. If an abscess is starting, this is where it first shows up. An abscessed tooth needs to be treated immediately. If the patient does not allow the dentist to take X-rays, a proper diagnosis might not be made.

Going to the dentist may not be your favorite thing, but it is necessary for optimal oral health. With knowledge about common dental procedures, you can make informed decisions about your oral health.