What Do Dental X-Rays Show the Dentist?


Dentists use dental x-rays to help them diagnose dental issues that are developing underneath the gums or in the jaw. An x-ray can go through hard objects that normal light rays cannot penetrate. It pierces beneath a person’s skin and reveals what is going on underneath. Dental x-rays are a crucial part of any dental examination since they give the dentist an opportunity to detect oral issues that might have been missed during an oral examination.

How dental x-rays work

An x-ray is a special kind of light that is able to travel through the skin and other soft tissues. It bounces off any metal targets it hits. Bones are made up of calcium, and they act like a metal target. It paints a clear outline of a person’s bone and some soft tissues when it is fired at them. This characteristic of x-rays is what makes them an effective way to observe the inner structures of a person’s mouth and teeth.

An x-ray can reveal a lot about a person’s oral health. Here are some of the more common uses of x-rays:

  • Used to visualize and observe diseases that are forming around supporting bone structures and teeth
  • Makes it possible to detect oral issues early in their development. This reduces the cost of treatment and helps to avoid painful dental ordeals
  • These tests are used to evaluate decay underneath dental prosthetics like fillings or around teeth. Such issues can be difficult to detect during visual examinations
  • It can be used to diagnose an infection
  • It can be used to observe bone tissue growth or loss
  • X-rays are used to monitor how a child’s permanent teeth are developing underneath the gumline. It allows the dentist to detect orthodontic issues early on, making it easier to correct them since the child’s jaw is still developing at this stage
  • An x-ray can be used to reveal cysts or tumors
  • These tests are often used to detect cavities and other signs of tooth decay
  • An x-ray can be used to observe the growth of a patient’s wisdom teeth
  • X-rays help to diagnose temporomandibular joint disorders

When are dental x-rays required?

How often a person needs to get x-rays depends on their health and dental history. People with good oral health typically do not need to have them done as often since they are less likely to have dental issues that require close monitoring. People with severe dental issues like periodontitis will need to have them done a lot more often since even the smallest changes need to be monitored. The rate at which a person needs to get x-rays typically goes up as they age.

When a person sees a dentist for the first time, x-rays are typically taken to establish a dental record. There really is no standard frequency when it comes to x-rays. The dentist will conduct one if they think it can help with diagnosis.

Need an oral x-ray?

At Great Smile Dental we regularly perform x-rays and many other diagnostic tests. Stop by our office and get checked out today.

Request an appointment here: https://www.greatsmiledentistmarietta.com or call Great Smile Dental at (770) 565-1010 for an appointment in our Marietta office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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