The need for dental X-rays is often underrated. While dentists know just how important it can be to have them done occasionally, even if you’re not planning any major surgeries or operations, most people tend to disregard them as only an occasional necessity. Dental X-rays, however, can help you in detecting problems that are not immediately visible with a basic oral exam or diseases that are extremely hard to detect through normal means.
What Do X-Rays Do and How Do They Help?
As with regular X-rays, dental X-rays are used to get under your normal tissue and take a look at the interior of your body – in this case, the specific area of your mouth, jaw and teeth. The X-rays are designed to help dentists detect and identify any potential abnormalities, as well as formulate their plan of action for tackling them.
Oftentimes, dentists will have you get X-rays done to determine the exact position of a cavity, identify hidden problems that are found beneath the gums or the enamel, locate damage that is concealed from their instruments during a regular dental check-up, or examine the results of a recent operation and watch for any abnormalities that might have formed.
Dental X-rays can be extremely invaluable when that growing teeth – including wisdom teeth and baby teeth – might be forming abnormally. Also, watching for tooth decay, revealing tumors, finding changes in bone structure – such as bone loss or changes resulting from infection – and showing tiny areas of tooth decay too small to find through regular means, will be among the top most essential assets that dentists at Willow Creek Way will point out when talking to you about the benefits of a dental X-ray.
Ultimately, it has to be said that dental X-rays have been around for a long time, and are completely safe and painless. Moreover, they should already be covered by your insurance and they won’t take a lot of time out of your busy schedule, so the potential benefits and preventive advantages far outweigh any perceived drawbacks.
How Often Should You Get Your X-Rays Done?
So, do you really need X-rays for your teeth before having just about any procedure done? Depending on the procedure, X-rays might be recommended or even strongly encouraged. While it’s not always required for basic teeth cleaning, procedures such as root canal, implants and just about any kind of orthodontic procedure will require dental X-rays. Moreover, if you have a history of a certain disease or problem, X-rays could be required on a far more regular basis.
Ultimately, it has to be asked, are dental X-rays for you? That answer is typically left to your dentist to decide, although the frequency of your dental X-rays should also depend to a great extent on your medical history and the current condition you might be suffering from.
Most dentists will recommend a period of 6 months between standard X-rays, while others will say that, as long as you have no history of gum disease or other major dental problems, you should be all right having them done only once every two years.