Dentists use x-rays to find cavities, abscesses, and pathology of the teeth and jawbone. X-rays show small cavities that would not be visible until they had gotten very large. The treatment for small cavities is usually easier and more economical than treatment for large cavities. X-rays may also show the beginnings of an abscessed tooth that has not yet begun to hurt. Detecting early abscessed teeth on x-rays can prevent future pain in a tooth. X-rays may also show cysts and tumors around teeth. Found early, the treatment is usually less involved. Your dentist will advise you when x-rays are necessary.
X-rays allow dentists to see cavities that are between two teeth, which might otherwise remain undiagnosed. X-rays also allow dentists to see cavities that have formed where a previous dental restoration such as a filling they dont last forever, or a crown, yep you can get a cavity under a crown.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
An x-ray can show your dentist if you have any abscesses or cysts in your jawbone near the roots of your teeth.
A panoramic dental x-ray is a great way to see all four of your wisdom teeth. It can help the dentist determine if there will be any problems with them when they come in or if your wisdom teeth need to be extracted.
A lateral cephalometric x-ray used to evaluate jaw growth
Many diseases remain hidden to the naked eye. X-rays allow dentists to get an inside look at your jawbone to detect any hidden tumors or diseases that may be lurking under the bone. A panoramic x-ray gives the dentist a good view of the sinuses, which can help the dentist determine if the true cause of your toothache is a sinus infection.
Dentists take x-rays at various points during certain dental procedures to ensure that you get the best treatment possible. For example, during a root canal, your dentist may take a few different x-rays to ensure that they have fully cleaned out your infected root canal and put in a root filling that will allow your tooth to remain healthy for many years into the future.
Whenever a tooth gets knocked loose or even knocked out, it can often be stabilized. Dental x-rays are a vital part of this process as they let the dentist know whether or not the tooth was stabilized in its proper position. Dental x-rays also allow your dentist to monitor the injured tooth over the next several years to ensure that it remains healthy.
In the case of an injured baby tooth, dental x-rays can also allow a dentist to see if it’s likely that the developing permanent tooth under the baby tooth was damaged.
X-rays can help a dentist visualize any developmental abnormalities of the teeth.
Orthodontists use x-rays a lot to make sure that the jaws are growing to their proper size. If abnormal growth patterns are caught in time, orthodontists can manipulate jaw growth to a more normal growth pattern through the use of appliances such as head gear.
Many dentists take x-rays to ensure that you can receive certain types of dental work. For example, a dentist wouldn’t want to give you a bridge if the adjacent teeth aren’t strong enough to support it.
Also, x-rays can be used to evaluate patients before they receive dental implants to ensure that there is an adequate amount of bone present and that the bone is healthy.