When dentists perform a dental check-up, they are limited to what they can see in your mouth; they can only see the part of the tooth that sits above the gumline. Even then, dentists cannot see clearly between teeth where they touch. So just like other x-rays ordered by medical doctors to check for things like broken bones, our leading dentists here at Capital Dental use dental x-rays to help see the parts of your teeth that sit below the gums and the surrounding bone.
What problems can dental x-rays show?
Dentists may take different types of x-rays depending upon what structures they are trying to view. Larger x-rays often provide a broader overview and are often taken outside the mouth. Smaller x-rays (where the x-ray film is placed inside the mouth) are used to show a smaller area in more detail, such as the area between two teeth.
Conditions which may show up on x-rays include (but are not limited to):
- Tooth decay, including the presence of decay between your teeth and/or underneath fillings
- Tooth abscesses
- Bone loss associated with Periodontal (gum) disease
- Cysts, or areas of chronic infection which can be associated with unerupted teeth, or teeth which have suffered some sort of trauma
- Developing teeth – whether they are present and whether they appear as expected in the correct location
- The presence of extra teeth or alternatively the absence of teeth
- The presence of wisdom teeth and their position
- Traumatic injuries such as tooth and/or bone fractures
- The presence of any growths
- Inflammation of sinuses (on larger x-rays)
When should I get x-rays?
Our dentists will help you decide how often you should have dental x-rays as everyone’s needs are different. We may suggest that you undergo a series of x-rays when they have not seen you before as a patient, so that they can complete a comprehensive examination and advise you of your overall dental status. Our team may also require patients to have dental x-rays in order to either plan dental treatment, monitor treatment outcomes or to assist with treatment procedures. For more information on our services, contact us today!