During your routine dental check-up, it is customary for your dentist to perform a visual exam of your mouth and recommend any needed x-rays. The visual exam allows a dentist to see visible signs of cavities, gum disease, and other concerns with your smile, but periodic or problem-specific x-rays are often necessitated in order for the dentist to gain a more thorough understanding of your oral health.
Digital x-rays taken during routine check-ups provide imagery of the interior of your teeth and jaw so that a dentist can intervene and stop potential issues from progressing and leading to lasting dental damage. At Morristown Cosmetic Dentistry, we employ the latest technology which includes digital x-rays that are safe for patients of all ages and minimize radiation exposure. Our technology also features a state-of-the-art 3D CBCT x-ray machine which allows for advanced diagnostics and treatments for root canals, tooth extractions, dental implants, and more.
Feel more at ease about receiving these scans at your dentist’s office by learning about the benefits they provide. Read on to learn three specific advantages you can experience with your preventative care with routine dental x-rays.
Benefits of Routine Dental X-Rays
Diagnose Tooth Decay
A dentist can spot a cavity, an early form of tooth decay, in many cases through a visual exam. Cavities can present with white, brown, or black discoloration or a hole in the surface of the tooth. But cavities do not always have such visible symptoms.
Tooth decay can develop in tricky-to-see locations, including between teeth where a dentist cannot see it with the naked eye. Dental x-rays will reveal a cavity, so dentists suggest annual x-rays of your smile to check for signs of decay.
If left untreated, tooth decay will progress and require extensive care. In conjunction with treatment from your dentist, x-rays will ensure you receive the prompt care you require before your condition advances and worsens.
Evaluate Tooth Pulp Health
You might suffer damage to the interior of your tooth, the pulp, without noticeable symptoms. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that might become diseased, which will leave your teeth vulnerable to infection.
Some people might experience pain or discoloration with tooth pulp damage, but this is not always the case. An x-ray allows a dentist to spot signs of non-vital tooth pulp or other internal dental concerns.
Non-vital tooth pulp does not always require urgent dental treatment. But you might need root canal therapy if you show signs of infection.
Monitor Tooth Growth
Most dental patients see all of their adult permanent teeth grown into place by adolescence. But teeth can shift throughout life for a number of reasons. These dental alignment changes can create problems with your bite, which may lead to tooth breakage and increase your risk of tooth decay and other concerns.
A dentist can monitor the position of your teeth with x-ray imaging. They can use prior scans to compare and identify changes and then intervene to preserve the appearance and structure of your smile when needed.
Many people also have wisdom teeth, an extra set of molars that might not have space to erupt through the gums without creating problems. Your dentist can keep an eye on these teeth using x-rays. If they become impacted or start to affect your other teeth, they can extract them before they cause further disruptions.