Why Does Your Dentist Take X-Rays?

Have you ever been surprised by what your dentist has found during your regular checkups? Maybe it was a cavity that hadn’t started hurting, or a crack in your tooth that you couldn’t see. While the sharp eye of your Orange dentist can spot things you haven’t noticed yet during your dental exam, they also rely on X-rays to keep track of your oral health. Read on to learn more about how this safe and reliable piece of dental technology plays such an important role in your ongoing dental care.

What Do Dental X-Rays Do?

X-rays of any kind see past your soft tissues to take an image of your bone structure. This is especially important in dentistry since so many of your oral structures are hidden. After all, your oral health depends on much more than just the sparkly pearly whites you see when you smile! Your dentist is also concerned about the roots of your teeth, the space between your teeth, and your jawbone. A dental X-ray can show:

  • Small cavities or areas of decay between teeth
  • Decay beneath fillings
  • Hidden cysts and other types of tumors
  • Bone loss in the jaw due to gum disease or osteoporosis
  • The position of teeth, either present or incoming
  • The presence or development of wisdom teeth
  • Dental abscess or infection around the roots of the teeth

How Often Are Dental X-Rays Needed?

When you visit a new dentist for the first time, it’s likely that they’ll recommend taking a panoramic X-ray to get an idea of your current oral health. After that, the frequency of your dental X-rays will depend on your unique circumstances. If you’re in good oral health and don’t have any ongoing dental treatments, you may only need X-rays taken every few years. However, if you’re struggling with gum disease, tooth decay, or are at a higher risk of any other oral health issues, you may need X-rays as often as every six months.

Why is this? Because spotting and stopping oral health issues as early as possible can save a tremendous amount of time, money, and hassle later. Monitoring ongoing dental problems ensures that your treatments are working as planned.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Despite how useful dental X-rays are, some people are hesitant to get them as frequently as their dentist recommends. Which is somewhat understandable: X-rays are sometimes associated with radiation and health issues. Thankfully, dental X-rays are taken digitally these days, which makes them incredibly safe. In fact, they reduce radiation by as much as 95%! With such a low risk of complications and the potential for such an important insight into your oral health, dental X-rays are reliably safe and important.

Want to learn more about dental X-rays in Orange? Don’t be shy! Talk to your dentist during your next appointment. They’ll be happy to tell you all about this important piece of dental technology.

About the Practice

Michelsen Dental is committed to providing personalized, high-quality dentistry to the families of Orange and the surrounding communities. Dr. Michelsen has been practicing oral healthcare for over 20 years and stays current with the latest advancements by regularly completing advanced education. Not only has she outfitted her office with state-of-the-art technology like digital X-rays, but she is also certified in advanced services like laser therapy, Invisalign, and CEREC one-visit crowns. If you’d like to learn more about dental X-rays, she can be reached via her website or at (714) 538-1178.