Why are Dental X-Rays Important?

19, Jun 2018

Here at the Perfect Smile Clinic Ltd, we want to provide the best possible dental care to our patients. Unfortunately a visual examination doesn’t tell us everything we need to know. Thanks to dental radiographs (x-rays), we can accurately diagnose and treat dental problems early and means that we can treat problems before they become an issue. With these radiographs we can see the “whole picture”.

Valuable Diagnostic Tool

Our radiographs give us the ability to see between and inside the teeth. We can view the tooth as a whole and the supporting bone structure surrounding the teeth. This is helpful in diagnosing the severity of gum disease and help us see places that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Radiographs are useful in checking the extent of decay. They also help us check for the presence of any cysts or abscesses. Congenitally missing or impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth, are often diagnosed this way.

Types of X-rays

During your routine examinations, we may take routine x-rays called “bitewing” x-rays. These radiographs show the crown areas of your teeth and a generalised feel of how the supporting structure looks.

Bitewing x-ray example

Bitewing x-ray example

If we need to look at the root of a tooth to check for infections or specific bone height, then we take “periapical” radiographs.

Periapical x-ray example

Periapical x-ray example

Sometimes we need to refer our patients to have a radiograph taken from outside the mouth because the image shows all of the teeth, as well as upper and lower jaws and sinus areas. This type of radiograph can identify the following:

  • impaction
  • cysts
  • tumours
  • jaw disorders
  • and bone irregularities.

Full mouth x-ray example

Full mouth x-ray example

How Often Are X-rays Needed?

Every person is different, so more or less radiographs may need to be taken. As a result of this, your dentist will evaluate your  needs as an individual and advise further.

If you’re a new patient, or haven’t been seen for longer than 2 years, it’s ideal to take routine radiographs. This will be to attain an overall feel of your current oral health state. As you continue your examinations and recommended treatment, fewer x-rays will be needed to monitor the status of your oral health. *

*every patient is an individual. 

Dental X-rays Safety

Radiograph machines and other sources of dental radiographs are designed to minimise radiation. These processes are safe and your exposure is negligible. At the Perfect Smile Clinic Ltd we use digital radiographs. This further reduces radiation exposure.

Always let your dentist know if you’re pregnant.