Have you ever wondered why the dentist needs to take an x-ray of your mouth? What are they looking for? How does it help? Here’s a quick dental x-ray rundown to read through before scheduling your next appointment.
X-Rays Catch Things Visual Exams May Miss
X-ray images allow us to look past the tissues in your mouth (like your gums), and into the deeper areas of your teeth and jaw bone. This helps us more accurately detect signs of oral health issues that we might not be able to with just a visual exam.
These are the type of x-rays you’d get at your standard dental visit along with your oral exam and teeth cleaning. Therapeutic x-rays let us see all of your teeth from a more holistic perspective – in other words, we can see your mouth from more angles than if we were just examining it visually.
Diagnostic x-rays are usually required for more in-depth dental treatments, like dental implants. They allow us to capture comprehensive images of the entire tooth (or teeth) involved so we can plan accordingly for your procedure.
Do I Need X-Rays Every Year?
Nope! Yearly x-rays used to be recommended, but today the ADA recommends that healthy adults with no major apparent dental problems only need to get x-rays about every 2-3 years.
If your mouth is healthy, you only need to have oral x-rays taken every once in a while.
The next time you’re unsure whether or not you need dental x-rays, ask your dentist about their purpose: are they diagnostic or therapeutic? Aim to understand how a deeper look into your mouth can be good for your health, and make an informed decision that best fits your personal dental situation.
Ready to schedule your next appointment? Contact us today!