Are Dental X-Rays Important?

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X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventive, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem.

Through the careful use of x-rays we are able to detect and measure dental decay, bone irregularities, root pathologies, periodontal disease, the eruption of teeth, and countless other issues. Early detection of hidden problems allow dental professionals to intervene and correct problems before they become more serious, and this in turn has helped people keep their teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. Routine dental X-Rays should be taken based on age, risk of disease, and presence or symptoms of disease. Usually dental professionals recommend check up X-Rays every 1-2 years and full mouth X-Rays every 3-5 years. 

Individuals who do not floss often get cavities in between their teeth just below where the teeth contact each other. A visual exam often is not sufficient to correctly diagnose these inter-proximal cavities, along with recurrent decay that may be growing underneath existing restorations that you have. Failing to diagnose these may ultimately lead to the need for root canal treatment or even extraction.

Also infections, abscesses or cysts in the jaw bone surrounding teeth can be easily seen on dental radiographs. These often exist for various reasons and you may not even be aware of them. There may also be other dental abnormalities existing that can not be visualized with the naked eye.

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