The Importance of Dental X-Rays
Dental x-rays play a very important role in the daily work of dentists. They allow dentists to identify disease, decay and possible tooth fractures. In the case of children, in addition to detecting underlying (non-visual) issues, x-rays allow the dentist to monitor the development of teeth over time.
Benefits of X-Rays
Identify Cavities X-rays can reveal cavities
Dental cavities are the most common oral health problem for children. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which starts when the bacteria in plaque causes acid to form on teeth. The acid breaks down the tooth’s enamel and then spreads through the rest of the tooth. A sign of an early cavity is often as simple as a white spot on the tooth that can be quite difficult to detect. Your dentist can determine if you have cavities by examining your teeth with a probe. X-rays can be used to check for decay in hidden areas not accessible to the eye or the probe. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infection if left untreated.
Dental x-rays images provide important information about the teeth and their roots. They can reveal both the presence of an infection and the severity of it.
Dental x-rays are a common procedure for evaluating the level of jaw bone health and are useful for the detection of bone loss in patients with periodontal disease. The dentist will take an x-ray of the patient’s upper and lower jaws from different angles to get a clearer picture of the patient’s jawbone. Imaging software can be used to compare the two images and determine if there is any bone loss.
Oral x-rays are used to identify the presence of cysts, tumours, and other lesions in the mouth. Your dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth in order to check for any abnormalities. The dentist will often take more than one x-ray to get a clearer picture of various areas of the mouth, especially if they suspect that there may be something abnormal present.
Types of X-Rays
Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of dental X-ray used by dentists. They are taken from within your mouth with a small, hand-held device called an intraoral camera. A film plate or digital sensor inside the patient’s mouth. The image produced by this technique can be either black and white or colour. The advantages of intraoral x-rays is they do not require the use of contrast dyes, and they allow for more detail to be seen because the teeth are in close proximity to the sensor. Only one tooth can be imaged at a time using this type of x-ray.
Extraoral X-rays are taken outside of your mouth with a larger machine. They provide a general overview of your mouth, but not as much detail as intraoral X-rays. Extraoral X-rays are often used to check for problems with your jaw or teeth that cannot be seen with intraoral X-rays.
Dental Computed Tomography (CT)
A dental CT scan is a type of X-Ray that is used to examine the teeth and jaw for potential issues. The dentist will take an CT scan of the teeth, jaw, and surrounding tissues. This will allow the dentist to view problems such as cavities, bone loss, tooth decay, or gum disease. In short. Dental CT scans are done so as to discover abnormalities that may not be seen via traditional dental examination. These types of X-Ray scans can also be used to diagnose oral cancer.
How Often Should You Get a Dental X-Ray?
At Christie Dental, in general we recommend that adults without any obvious dental problems get a dental X-ray roughly every two to three years. For patients with ongoing issues (periodontal, decay or other issues) more frequent are often recommended.
IMPORTANT NOTICE BEFORE BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT
***Attention Non-English Speaking Patients***
If you are unable to communicate effectively in the English language, please bring someone with you who can communicate with us on your behalf when attending your dental appointment