No visible signs of trouble?
Dentists can only see the outermost surface of our teeth and gum even with their dental loupes on. What about underneath the pearly white teeth?
Benefit 1: Tooth decay can be sneaky – it doesn’t tend to show physical signs of its presence early on. That means we can not see it early on. Therefore, X-rays are an important diagnostic tool that help your dentist to find out if you have tooth decay. With early detection, many inexpensive and simple treatment options are available such as re-inforce oral hygiene and application of re-mineralisation agent to prevent the further progression of decay or simple fillings.
Benefit 2: Dental X-rays can also detect many other problems such as infection around roots, loss of bone around the tooth and other oral pathologies such as cysts, tumours and cancer. Therefore, routine dental x-rays not only can save a tooth, it can sometimes save a life!
Benefit 3: Detecting problems early means your dentist can deal with the problem before it becomes a complex and expensive issue.
Safe for everyone
Regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult, you can have dental X-rays safely taken of the inside and outside of your mouth. The amount of radiation involved is extremely low, and is equivalent to the sort of exposure you’d receive on a 1-2 hour flight. This means that even if you’re pregnant you can have X-rays taken.
If you wonder why your dentist leaves the room while X-rays are taken? It is because they are taking lots of dental x-rays for their patients all day long, therefore leaving the room limits their ongoing exposure to radiation.
Type of Dental X-rays and what can they detect?
Full mouth X-ray (OPG) detects
- Tooth development issues such as malformed teeth, extra or missing teeth etc.
- The presence and severity of gum disease
- Cysts, tumours and cancers
- Traumatic injuries such as tooth and bone fractures
- The presence and position of wisdom teeth (See photo)
- Proximity of teeth to nerves and sinuses
- The presence and location of abscesses or large infections
Small X-rays detects
- Small areas of decay between teeth not visible in the mouth
- Problems with existing fillings, root canals, crowns or bridges
- Tooth infections
- Presence of tartar that is causing bleeding gum