During your last dental appointment, you had undergone a typical dental checkup including dental x-rays and a professional cleaning. After your dentist reviews your x-rays, they come back to tell you that you have a cavity, even bringing the dental x-ray with them to show you where the problem resides. The only problem is, you have no clue what you’re looking at or what you’re looking for.
Although you would have to undergo the same training and education as your dentist to become an expert, this post can help you understand what your dentist uses x-rays for and how to better understand them.
How does a dental x-ray work?
When an x-ray is taken, a special light travels through your skin and bounces off metal targets. The calcium in your bones are considered to be those metal targets, producing a picture that can clearly outline the inner structures of your mouth.
What does your dentist look for when examining a dental x-ray?
Dental x-rays can tell us many different things about your mouth and your teeth. These are just a few aspects of your oral health that your dentist keeps a close eye on:
- Disease and decay around teeth and surrounding tissues.
- Detect and treat dental problems early on, reducing pain and cost for patients.
- Decay underneath dental work that would otherwise go unnoticed during a visual exam.
- Infection or bone loss.
- Development of teeth—especially for kids.
- Tumors or cysts.
- Cavities or other oral health concerns
- Wisdom tooth development.
How often should you get dental x-rays?
Dental exams typically include dental x-rays. Everyone should be receiving a dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months. But, you could require more frequent appointments depending on your current health and dental history.
If you have good oral health, you may not need dental x-rays as often. Some patients get dental x-rays every 6 months, and some only need it every few years. If your upcoming dental appointment is your very first appointment, your dentist will perform a dental x-ray to better understand your mouth and any dental problems that you may currently have.
Do you still have questions about dental x-rays and how they can help prevent and address dental problems before they become much worse? Reach out to your dentist to get more information.
Meet Your Doctors
Our team at Alamo Springs Dental believes in the power of prevention over restoration. Although your family dentist, either Dr. Michele Moreno or Dr. Aiyana, can help you restore teeth and revitalize your oral health, it’s in our patient’s best interest to keep mouths healthy from the beginning. Each of our doctors have extensive experience in dentistry and impressive educational backgrounds.
Ready to meet your dentist’s? Our practice is always accepting new patients. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at (210) 346-0967.