What are the benefits of having dental x-rays?

Many diseases of the oral cavity can't be seen when the dentist examines your mouth. Dental x-rays are images that can help the dentist see things the human eye can't detect such as tiny areas of decay between the teeth or below fillings; bone damage from an infection or cyst; bone loss from gum disease; developmental defects; some types of tumors; the effects of trauma; and the position of unerupted teeth in children and adults.

Dental x-rays provide valuable information about the health of your teeth. Areas of decay show up as dark spots in x-rays. Sometimes a dentist can see decay that is not visible to the naked eye because it is hidden by a filling or is located beneath the gum line. Sometimes the x-ray reveals cracks in a tooth or shows that teeth are not growing properly beneath the gum.

X-rays can be used to plan tooth implants, reveal signs of cysts and cancers, and check for bone loss.
Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Dental x-rays help your dentist diagnose and treat conditions that are not visible with the naked eye. Tooth decay, fractured teeth, infections of the teeth, gums and jaw bones; jaw joint disorders, growth disorders, abnormalities in tooth development; discovery of missing teeth, extra teeth and teeth growing in the incorrect location; pre-surgical planning for tooth removal, implant placement, orthodontic treatment and conditions affecting the head and neck; airway problems, speech problems, tumors, cancers, and damage to the jaw bones following traumatic injury.

This is but a small list of benefits provided to your dentist with dental x-rays. Your dentist will use the lowest amount of dental x-ray exposure necessary to diagnose, prevent or treat dental disease. If your dentist recommends an x-ray to help diagnose or treat a dental condition, ask him or her for the specific benefits that will be obtained from each exposure. Your x-rays are a very important part of maintaining a healthy mouth for life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.