Dental x-rays can be used to find a variety of dental problems, both big and small. By taking regular dental x-rays about 1-2 times per year according to the American Dental Association, you can catch problems early on, before they become bigger and more expensive to treat. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of dental x-rays and what they can find.
Types of Dental X-Rays:
Extraoral x-rays are used to take pictures of the entire head, including the skull and jaw. This type of x-ray is used to diagnose issues such as impacted wisdom teeth, fractures in the skull or jaw, and tumors.
Intraoral x-rays are used to take pictures of the teeth and surrounding tissues. This type of x-ray is used to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss around the teeth, and tumors in the mouth.
Issues that Dental X-Rays Can Find:
Tooth decay is a common problem that can be identified with dental x-rays. By taking an intraoral x-ray, your dentist can see if there is any decay hidden between two teeth. In some cases, your dentist can even identify the earliest signs of tooth decay before a cavity starts to form. Dental x-rays also help your dentist develop a treatment plan since they can see just how far a cavity extends into your tooth.
Bone loss around the teeth is another possible problem that can be diagnosed with dental x-rays. Bone loss most commonly occurs as a result of advanced periodontal disease or from losing one or more teeth. By taking an intraoral x-ray, your dentist can see if there is any bone loss present around the teeth. If left untreated, bone loss can lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss.
Faulty Dental Restorations
If you have had dental work done in the past, it is important to have regular dental x-rays to make sure that the dental restoration is still in place and functioning correctly. Over time, dental restorations can wear down and they will eventually need to be replaced. Dental x-rays can help identify problems with dental restorations, such as fractures or leaks. The sooner these problems are detected, the better.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are a common problem that can be diagnosed with an extraoral x-ray. Wisdom teeth can be either partially or fully impacted, or trapped in the jawbone below the gums. By taking an extraoral x-ray, your dentist can see if your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of complications, such as infections or cysts.
Dental x-rays can also be used to identify damage to the teeth, such as cracks or chips. Sometimes, the damage can be seen without an x-ray, and sometimes the damage may only be identified through an x-ray. When the damage is minimal or is hidden from view, it can usually only be detected using a dental x-ray. If you have any damaged teeth, your dentist may recommend that you get a dental restoration to fix the damage and protect your tooth.
In this blog post we discussed what different types of dental x-rays are used for and how it benefits your oral health. Dental x-rays are an important part of your oral health care and should be taken on a regular basis. If you have any questions about dental x-rays or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office. We would be happy to help you!
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.