Why do I need Dental Xrays?
Serious dental conditions such as deep dental decay, gum disease or abscesses, are often not fully visible to the human eye. Dentists rely on dental xrays to help them see underneath the gums and between the teeth where the naked eye cannot view in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of your oral health and provide you with a more thorough diagnosis.
How Xrays Work: Xrays are designed to detect density. In a dental xray, thicker areas, like teeth, dental fillings and bone, appear white, or "radiopaque". Less dense areas, such as gum tissue, nerves, ligaments and blood vessels, appear darker, or more "translucent". Areas with very low density are nearly black.
What your Dental Team is looking for: Our doctors and hygienists use dental xrays to look for "shadows" that appear in the wrong places, such as:
- Tiny, dark areas between teeth or on tooth or root surfaces that may be an indication of tooth decay,
- A decrease in jawbone levels surrounding teeth that may be a sign of periodontal (gum) disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss,
- Dark circles at the tip of tooth roots or in the jawbone. These are suspicious areas that may be a sign of an abscess or cyst.
Our office uses digital xray equipment, which requires less radiation than traditional film. Digital xrays allow us to view your xrays on a computer screen, giving us the ability to zoom and enlarge the images and share our findings with you.
Itís not just a cleaning...
Don't underestimate your regular dental cleaning with your hygienist! This visit is important to maintain your oral health. At your checkup, your doctor and hygienist will perform a thorough exam of your teeth and gums and review necessary xrays to look for signs of dental disease or infection. Early diagnosis helps minimize treatment and avoid emergencies.
Maintaining an Oral Health Care Routine
Regular visits to the dentist have been proven to help prevent dental decay and periodontal (gum) disease, and can prove life-saving in the early detection of oral cancer. Our doctors and our hygiene team work together to monitor your dental health and perform preventive treatments to help keep your smile healthy. Our recommended dental health care regimen includes:
Periodic Examinations and Preventive Services
We recommend that our patients visit our office every 3-6 months for routine checkups, cleanings and periodontal maintenance.
- At this visit, we will take necessary digital xrays, and your dentist will perform a thorough dental examination to evaluate the condition of your teeth and jaw joints, as well as conduct an oral cancer screening.
- We may recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants for your child to help prevent tooth decay.
- Our doctors and hygiene team will measure your gums to look for signs of periodontal (gum) disease at each preventive visit. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and infection. Read more about Periodontal (Gum) Care.
A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surface of a tooth to seal deep grooves that can sometimes be an entry point for decay-causing bacteria. Sealants create a smooth surface that is easier to keep clean and can last for years.
- Sealants require no drilling or anesthetic and are a great preventive procedure for children to help protect permanent teeth.
Are you due for your dental cleaning and examination? Our office welcomes new patients and works with most major dental insurance plans. Contact Us today and let us assist you in scheduling this very important appointment!