What can dental x-rays detect?

Your dentist may recommend dental x-rays to detect or diagnose problems with your teeth and gums. They are usually provided to both children and adults to detect various problems and ensure that teeth grow properly in the mouth. In children, dental x-rays can help dentists determine if there is enough space in the mouth to place erupting teeth. A dental x-ray can also help dentists see tooth decay developing, if wisdom teeth are starting to come out, or if teeth are impacted and can't get through the gums.

Dental x-rays help dentists visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. They also help the dentist find and treat dental problems early on, which can help you save money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life. Children may need to have dental x-rays more often than adults because their dentists may need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. While most dental offices use x-rays to detect cavities, this isn't the only thing x-rays can see.

Instead of showing x-ray film in a dark room, the x-rays are sent directly to a computer and can be viewed on the screen, stored, or printed. However, some patients may receive dental x-rays if they contact their dentist and complain of oral pain or discomfort. While some people need x-rays more frequently, current guidelines require that x-rays be performed only when necessary for clinical diagnosis. Exposure to all sources of radiation, such as the sun, minerals in the earth, household appliances and dental x-rays, can damage tissues and cells in the body and cause the development of cancer.

Dental x-rays (x-rays) are essential and preventive diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not seen during a regular dental exam. There are several different types of x-rays that the dental team can use to examine various parts of the oral anatomy. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.