What do you typically go to the dentist for? For a large number of individuals, the reason is to get a routine tooth cleaning. Others may have a cosmetic procedure that needs to be done. These two reasons make up a large portion of dental visits. That being the case, if you visited a dentist recently there is a large chance you had an x-ray taken. The question must now be asked: Why do dentists x-ray my teeth if they are most likely only working on the outsides of my teeth? Simply, to make sure your teeth are healthy on the inside. This can only be done with an x-ray. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons an x-ray may be required during your next dental visit.
Your teeth may be misaligned, overlapping or gapped. This is observable by just looking at your teeth. However, 66% of your teeth are below your gums. To do an orthodontic procedure, the dentist needs to see these roots and this requires an x-ray.
Cavities (or “tooth decay”) at times appear on the surface of your tooth. The scope of most cavities, however, are not fully discernable by the naked eye. Tooth decay is plainly visible on an x-ray image. By using an x-ray, a dentist can examine the full extent of the damage. Afterward, it can be determined if the patient needs a root canal or just a simple filling.
As you grow, most people eventually need to have their wisdom teeth removed to avoid health problems. In order to make sure they are coming in properly, a dentist will use an x-ray to make sure your gums and jaw are going through a healthy development.
Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that affects the jawbone, eventually, causing it to deteriorate. Without an x-ray, in most cases, it simply is not possible for your dentist to detect the presence of or damage done by periodontitis. With an x-ray, your dentist can properly treat it.
Come on into our Los Angeles, CA office for your routine dental checkup, or give us a call and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have about dental x-rays.