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Importance of Dental X-Rays

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Importance of Dental X-Rays

To the surprise of many, dentists are not miracle workers. There are problems or potential problems that cannot be detected by the patient just following the order to “open wide”. In cases such as these, dentists will most likely need to take some x-rays of the teeth. Dental X-rays, or otherwise known as radiographs, are a very important part of proper oral care. It can both detect and prevent major problems with our teeth. Oral health problems such as cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and even tumours.

Factors to Consider

dental check-up

Perhaps you think that the importance of dental x-rays doesn’t affect you personally. And you may actually be correct, depending on certain factors. Whether the patient need to get regular dental x-rays will depend on their age, the condition of their teeth, if there are any symptoms of gum disease, as well as if they have a history of gum disease or tooth decay. It is clear then that there are many factors to look at before taking x-rays. Obviously, it is wise for a dentist to take an x-ray on their first meeting with the patient to ensure that there are no visible issues.

One of the things that dentists look at is the age of the patient. But why would they take that into consideration? One of the reasons is that if the patient is a young child then dental x-rays will be even more necessary.  Because children’s adult teeth are still growing and developing, dentists need to be alert to the condition of their teeth. In general, once we are adults and our teeth are completely developed, a dentist can still only see one third of the teeth without the use of dental x-rays – making their importance understandable.

Different Types of Dental X-Rays

There are many different types of dental x-rays and dentists and oral hygienists have the option of using whichever is available to them and what is best suited for the situation. Some of the x-rays include:


This type of x-ray is appropriately named – it involves the patient biting down on a piece of paper. This technique is often done at a routine check-up because it shows the different crown portions in the mouth and can identify early signs of tooth decay. It will usually take up to four bitewings in order to get a good look at all the teeth.


This x-ray is extremely useful because it shows more than just the teeth – it gives the dentist insight on the condition of the jaw bone, jaw joints and tooth roots. Obviously then, it could potentially pick up problems which some of the other x-ray techniques cannot.


This is when all the teeth in the mouth are seen in one shot.

So, what is the verdict? Well, x-rays are clearly extremely useful in dentistry. They can detect and even prevent serious problems in the mouth, which in turn could save you money, time and pain. These advancements in technology are definitely proving to be a huge aid in dentistry. Have your dentist examine your teeth by means of one of these techniques, it could potentially be a lifesaver – rather safe than sorry.

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