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What Your Dentist Is Looking for When Looking Over X-Rays


Posted on 6/13/2017 by Mark Bieber
A dentist showing his patient a dental x-ray.
When you have your annual check-up, you may have noticed that your dentist usually takes x-rays. Sometimes you may wonder if he really needs that many, it's not like your mouth has changed.

But the fact is, it has. By taking regular x-rays your dentist can track the changes to your teeth. Your dentist can tell a lot about your oral health by looking at your x-rays.

What Shows Up on an X-Ray?

By looking at your x-rays your dentist can see the condition of your teeth, their roots, the placement of your jaw and your facial structure. From there he can see if there is any gum disease, abscesses, impacted teeth, abnormal growths, cysts or tumors.

The extensive amount of information that can be seen on an x-ray ensures not only your oral health but your general health as well. Regular x-rays help your dentist spot problems before they become major issues that can require extensive procedures to correct.

What Kind of X-Rays Are There?

Bitewing x-rays are the most common and are usually what's taken at a routine visit. These x-rays can detect decay that's occurring between the teeth, the most common place for cavities to begin forming. This underlines the value of flossing.

When your dentist needs to see the entire tooth right down to the root periapical x-rays will be taken. This lets your dentist see the root structure and detect any cysts or abscesses.

If your dentist needs to see your whole mouth; upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw, he will take a panoramic radiograph. This is particularly useful when trying to predict how a child's teeth will develop. A panoramic radiograph can also predict potential problems in adolescents with wisdom tooth eruption.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about x-rays.

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