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What Do Dental X-Rays Really Tell Us?


During a regularly scheduled cleaning, dental hygienists and dentists work together to assess the health of your teeth and mouth. While this visual exam is a great start, it doesn’t give the complete picture of your dental health. That’s why dentists recommend that patients receive dental x-rays once a year. Advanced imaging with dental x-rays can provide an in-depth look at the health of your teeth, letting you know if you need to change any habits or plan for potential dental work in the future. So just what can a dental x-ray reveal?

Early tooth decay
X-rays give an up-close look at the early beginnings of tooth decay, especially in hard to see places. They can also pinpoint spots of decay that have formed underneath existing fillings. When decay is noted early, patients can be alerted to make brushing and flossing a priority to help prevent future cavities.

Bone loss from gum disease
Gum disease damages the tissue around the teeth and in its advanced stages can cause bone loss. Dental x-rays can give a clear picture of the extent of gum disease and are helpful in determining the best treatment for the patient.

Root problems
Dental x-rays can spot root damage caused by various types of infections. X-rays that show a dark spot on the tip of a tooth’s root often indicate the need for a root canal. Dentists use x-rays before, during, and after a root canal to confirm the necessity and to monitor progress.

Oral cancer
When a dentist suspects oral cancer in a patient after a physical exam, a biopsy and x-ray are often taken to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays allow dentists to see if the tumor has spread to the jaw. In some cases, regularly scheduled x-rays can pick up the first signs of oral cancer.

Tooth development
For growing children, x-rays are used to track incoming permanent teeth. Dentists can tell when the teeth may come in and if there is enough room for the new teeth in the mouth. X-rays can also show if a child’s wisdom teeth are impacted or if any other developmental abnormalities are present.

Vacendak Dentistry uses cutting-edge digital imaging technology to take full mouth x-rays with five times less radiation than traditional methods. This is safer and more convenient for our patients and helps our dentists make sound oral health recommendations.

Are you ready to schedule your next dental appointment? Call us today at (757) 609-3510 or contact us online.