Dentists have been performing visual inspections even since dentistry began, but today's practitioners are also able to use X-rays to see areas that just aren't visible to the naked eye. Though getting regular dental X-rays might not seem necessary, they can actually help prevent everything from tooth loss to spreading infections.
Here are just five reasons you should see your dentist for regular X-rays.
1. Check for Decay
Decay is a leading cause of tooth loss, and dentists can often identify it through a standard visual inspection of your teeth. However, X-rays can show small areas of decay that may be missed during regular inspections. Areas of decay between teeth are often picked up through X-rays, as are areas of decay that have developed under existing fillings.
2. Identify Growths
Some types of growth can be checked for through dental X-rays, including cysts and other tumours. While these are often benign, it makes sense to know they are there as soon as possible, and regular dental X-rays can ensure that happens. Your dentist may be able to provide treatment, or they may refer you to an appropriate doctor if any further assistance is required.
3. Spot Bone Loss
Periodontal disease, which is more commonly referred to as gum disease, can have a major impact on your oral health. In some cases, gum disease will even cause bone loss in your jaw. Over time, this can weaken your teeth and make replacements like dental implants harder to fit. However, your dentist will be able to spot even minor bone loss in your jaw by performing X-rays.
4. View the Position of Teeth
If you have any unerupted teeth, dentists can use X-rays to view their position and suggest any necessary treatments. This is particularly important for growing children who may require braces, but it can also help determine what kind of dental implants or dentures you might require if one or more of your natural teeth is ever lost.
5. Check for Infection
Infections can sometimes develop under the gumline. Abscesses, which develop at the root of a tooth or between your teeth and gums, are a common type of oral infection. This often results in fever and chills, and your dentist will be able to check if an infection is to blame by taking some X-rays. Infections show up easily on X-rays, so your dentist will be able to provide relief and help you decide whether any extractions or other procedures are necessary.
For more information, contact a dentist near you.