Dentists understand why you may be wary about having an X-ray taken. However, your dentist in Lancaster County needs to do so before they can provide the right treatment. While a thorough examination is very helpful, an X-ray can catch issues that a naked eye would never find, even if it belongs to a trained professional.
When you walk into your office for your next appointment, you’ll be happy that your dentist is taking every measure to provide you catered and high-quality care. Keep reading to learn what X-rays allow your dentist to accomplish and why it’s so important they perform them before assigning any treatment.
What X-Rays Do
Also known as radiographs, X-ray machines provide a level of detail that is unmatched in the dental office. After taken, X-rays illuminate the areas between and inside your teeth, the tips of your tooth roots, and underneath your gums. These areas are all invisible to the naked eye, therefore even the most thorough intraoral exam won’t be enough.
They can also use x-rays to take pictures of different angles of your mouth. For example, a bitewing X-ray is ideal for viewing the crown portions of your teeth, while a periapical X-ray is better for viewing your teeth’s bone height and root tips.
How Your Dentist Evaluates Your Oral Health
A large part of regular dental visits isn’t about treating disease when it appears. In fact, it’s main purpose (besides having your teeth professional cleaned) is to prevent future disease or decay from occurring in the first place. The most effective way to practice preventive care is through regular X-rays.
During your exam, your dentist can:
- View underneath gum tissue and identify periodontal disease
- Check the health of the bone around the tooth
- Locate cavities
- Examine the tooth roots
- Check the status of developing teeth (i.e. permanent, primary, and wisdom teeth)
With the use of an X-ray, your cosmetic dentist in Lancaster County can even catch early signs of tooth decay before a cavity emerges. This means they can help you improve your at-home oral care before a filling is even needed. This saves you money and unneeded discomfort associated with cavities.
How They Confirm Your Overall Health
Did you know that many diseases can be caught early by your dentist? One of the more common ones includes oral cancer, a disease that can appear even if you don’t use tobacco products and regularly brush and floss at home. The earlier your dentist catches signs of oral cancer, the easier treatment will be to remove it.
Furthermore, your dentist can catch other abnormalities, including cysts, abscesses, bone infections, and certain types of tumors. Think of it like this: your general practitioner wouldn’t provide treatment the moment you walked into their office. They would first conduct a thorough examination both inside and outside the body. An X-ray is your dentist’s best defense against serious oral disease and tooth decay.
Have more questions or concerns about X-rays? Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lancaster County today to learn about the importance of regular X-ray screenings.
About the Author
Dr. Sean Moriarty graduated from the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. There, he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine, was a member of the Oral Surgery Honor Society, and served as President of the Endodontic Honor Society. To learn more about his endodontic treatments and practice, contact him at (717) 961-5767 or visit his website.