5 Reasons Why Dental X-Rays Are so Important

Many Americans are keen to avoid unnecessary medical treatments and services. But this shouldn't include avoiding the regular use of dental X-rays for your oral health. Why? Here are a few of the important things consistent X-rays can help with.

1. Tracking Changes

Annual or regularly scheduled X-rays provide a long timeline of your mouth's history that dentists can use to keep track of certain changes and problems. This can tell them when new potential problems emerge and how fast something may be changing so they can determine how to treat things successfully.

2. Looking Underneath Prosthetics

The more artificial elements you have in your mouth over the years, the more these can obscure important factors. Crowns, root canals, dentures, and fillings generally look the same to the naked eye year after year, even if things have deteriorated underneath. An X-ray is one of the best therapeutic devices to ensure those inorganic elements don't get in the way of great oral health. 

3. Catching Things Early

Although your dentist will make a thorough visual and tactile exam each time they treat you, some health issues must be relatively large to show up through this means. X-rays are an important complement, aiming to catch things that haven't progressed far yet. This includes infections, gum disease, dental caries, and tumors or abscesses. 

4. Guiding Treatments

When precision counts, such as with implant placement, the X-ray helps point dentists to exactly where the problem lies. They will often take specific X-rays of affected areas to avoid opening up your gum tissue to unnecessary work and to ensure that infections or tooth damage is completely rooted out during a procedure. It takes the guesswork out of treatment. 

5. Reaching Deeper

Only a small portion of the mouth is readily accessible and usually visible. Significant amounts of bone, tissue, and cartilage are housed deeper — in the jaw, sinuses, gums, throat, and nose. X-rays extend the dentist's diagnostic reach to the farthest features, allowing them to spot signs of trouble no matter where they might be. With this tool, the dentist can also direct you to other medical providers who may be able to help target potential issues.

Where to Learn More

Do you want to know more about how a dentist uses X-rays to locate health issues, formulate plans of care, and provide more holistic health care? Start by meeting with an experienced dentist in your area today. Together, you will team up to ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth stay healthy and happy through the best modern dentistry available.