Why the Dentist Recommends X-Rays

Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Although dentists are highly trained, there are some things that they are not able to see with the naked eye and need additional resources to help. In this case, we are referring to dental x-rays, which have dramatically improved over the years as technology has changed. Your family dentist in Poway, Dr. Nicol Cook, may recommend different types of x-rays during your visit. Today on the blog, we are sharing the reasons why dentists recommend x-rays.

Are dental x-rays safe?

dentist recommend x-rays

Dentists regard digital dental x-rays safe because of the low emittance of radiation. When x-rays are taken of your teeth, a protective lead vest will cover your chest and abdomen area. The vest is a precautionary measure but plays a vital role in protecting against exposure to radiation even for pregnant women.

Why does a dentist use dental x-rays?

Your Rancho Bernardo general dentist can identify problems with your teeth during a visual examination. However, sometimes there are problems underneath your gums or between teeth. Dental x-rays provide a deeper look at hidden problems that may need treatment to prevent them from becoming worse. For example, an x-ray is helpful in identifying issues with the jawbone or a tooth that is infected. These issues may not be noticeable by a visual examination unless x-ray technology is used.

What type of x-rays are used for dental checkups?

There are three types of x-rays that are used at your Rancho Bernardo family dentist to get the whole picture of your oral health.
  1. Bite-wing x-rays: These x-rays are specifically designed for your molars and premolars, and they allow the dentist to check for decay between your back teeth. Since the back teeth are the most difficult to see and clean, they are more prone to tooth decay. Bite-wing x-rays are typically taken during your regular six-month cleaning visit, or at least once a year.
  2. Periapical x-rays: These x-rays are designed to show a detailed picture of two to three teeth at a time from the crown of the tooth to the root. Sometimes dentists find problems with the root of the tooth when looking at this x-ray; however, during the visual examination, there were no external signs of damage to the tooth. By finding these conditions, the proper treatment could be administered and reduce potential risks down the road. Sometimes, periapical x-rays are used for pretreatment estimates when filing dental insurance claims.
  3. Panoramic x-rays: These x-rays provide a panoramic view of your entire mouth at one time. It provides an easier way to check for overcrowding of teeth and other potential developmental issues. In addition to your teeth, it will provide a full view of your jaw joints and jawbone. This is helpful in devising treatment plans or diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder.

What are some reasons you may need x-rays?

In addition to your regular checkups, you may need an x-ray during a dental emergency to assess the damage and provide the proper treatment. Also, x-rays are often used for diagnostic purposes to uncover problems before they create pain or more damage to your teeth and gums.

Family Dentist in Poway and Rancho Bernardo

Getting x-rays at our general dentist office in Poway is a safe method to diagnose and treat oral health concerns. With x-rays, problems are caught early and potentially save you time and money in the future on your oral care. If you’re curious about what your dental x-rays say about your oral health, feel free to contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today or call (858) 673-0141 to schedule an appointment.

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