Benefits of a Dental X-Ray

When you attend a dental check-up, your dentist will complete a visual exam of your smile to ensure your teeth and gums remain in good health. You might wonder why your dentist will then also ask you to receive a dental x-ray of your teeth.

Ideally, you should get a dental x-ray every year or so during a routine appointment at your dentist’s office. This way, your dentist can see the inside of your teeth and spot potential issues they cannot see with the naked eye alone.

Dental x-rays are perfectly safe for patients of all ages. But you can ask your dentist for details about this process when you call the office. Read on to learn why dentists recommend obtaining x-ray imaging of your smile on an annual basis.

Benefits of a Dental X-Ray

Diagnose Tooth Decay

Dentists can often see a cavity on the surface of a tooth during a visual oral exam. This early stage of tooth decay can appear as a hole in the tooth’s surface or a dark spot of discoloration. However, many people may develop tooth decay in areas of the mouth that are difficult to see with the naked eye, such as between two teeth.

Tooth decay will appear clearly on a dental x-ray. So dentists often diagnose decay with help from x-ray imaging. With this more precise diagnostic tool, you can treat cavities more swiftly, preserving more of your natural dental structure.

Evaluate the Health of Tooth Pulp

As mentioned, a dentist cannot see problems in the inner layers of your teeth with a visual exam alone. Sometimes, an issue can develop in the pulp of the tooth that will require dental intervention. For instance, if pressure on a tooth damages the tooth’s internal blood vessels, then the pulp can become non-vital.

A dentist can see a blockage or another issue within the tooth’s pulp in a dental x-ray. Then they can keep an eye on the tooth and provide appropriate treatment to ensure you do not suffer further oral health concerns.

Monitor the Growth of Teeth

Dental patients will see their adult permanent teeth grown into place by the time they reach adolescence in most cases. But most people also have wisdom teeth, a third set of molars, that may grow into place in early adulthood. These teeth can develop with complications, like impaction, that may necessitate their extraction.

A dentist can monitor the growth of wisdom teeth using a dental x-ray and intervene before they introduce complications for the rest of your smile. If you receive x-ray imaging on a regular basis, a dentist can identify changes in the position of your teeth too.

Then the dentist can help you preserve your smile so that you do not suffer dental misalignment. They can offer advice that will stop poor oral habits so that you can keep your teeth straight.

If needed, they may offer you Invisalign or another cosmetic dental solution to enhance your dental alignment. Learn more about preventive dental care by calling your dentist now.