Dental X-rays are one of the most powerful tools dentists use. While many oral health concerns can be diagnosed with an oral examination, many dental concerns can only be determined after the use of a dental X-ray.
Quite simply, dental X-rays make it easier for dentists to effectively and efficiently diagnose patients when there is an oral health concern.
What dental X-rays reveal
Most understand that dental X-rays are important in diagnosing and even preventing oral health problems, but many do not understand exactly what they reveal.
To have a better understanding of why dental X-rays are ordered, the following are common oral health concerns that dental x-rays reveal.
When tooth decay occurs on highly visible teeth, it is easy to diagnose through a simple oral examination. However, when tooth decay occurs on the back teeth, which is more common, they may be harder to notice.
Fortunately, dental X-rays reveal tooth decay on all teeth, particularly the ones that are hard to reach while brushing. A cavity that goes untreated can lead to other, more severe complications, and it is helpful to perform for dentists to use dental X-rays to determine whether tooth decay exists.
Another major benefit of dental X-rays is that they are able to reveal early signs of gum disease, as well as progressive signs that gum disease has developed.
Most cases of gum disease can only be noticed through oral examination after it has developed. On the other hand, dental X-rays are able to reveal early signs that are not easy to notice at first, which gives dentists the ability to treat the symptoms before it leads to an actual instance of gum disease, which can be more difficult to manage.
Bone loss can, more often than not, be noticed through oral examination. However, dental X-rays can pick up on bone loss in most instances. When bone loss occurs, it can cause significant dental complications, and the earlier it can be diagnosed, the better.
Additionally, dental X-rays can reveal jaw problems, such as signs of TMJ and malocclusion caused by a misaligned jaw. In many instances, jaw problems that are detected by dental X-rays are hard, if not impossible, to diagnose without an X-ray.
The growth of wisdom teeth
One of the more important oral health concerns that a dental X-ray can pick up is the improper growth of wisdom teeth. Needless to say, the growth of wisdom teeth cannot be effectively tracked, as the growth occurs underneath the surface of the gums. However, the growth of wisdom teeth can be tracked through the use of dental X-rays.
If wisdom teeth grow in incorrectly, it can lead to teeth shifting and gum problems. By using dental X-rays to determine whether wisdom teeth are growing incorrectly, problems can be detected earlier, and the wisdom teeth can be extracted before they cause any damage to the gums or surrounding teeth.
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