Why Do I Need X-Rays?

When you have a tooth problem, your dentist will first examine your tooth to identify the cause. While a visual exam is necessary, it does not always give the entire picture. That is where a dental X-ray can help.

Dental X-rays help dentists see possible decay or illnesses they cannot see with their naked eyes. Unfortunately, even the best doctors do not have X-ray vision. That means your dentist cannot see inside your teeth and jaw to examine their condition and identify and treat dental issues.

What Does a Dental X-ray Show?


A dental X-ray can show:

  • Holes/cavities inside and between teeth

  • Tooth rot beneath dental fillings

  • Tumors, cysts in the gums, and jawbones that can be cancerous

  • Loss of jawbone due to gum disease

  • Abscesses

  • Teeth alignment to determine whether you need dental implants, dentures, braces, or veneers

The analysis from X-rays can help your dentist:

Detect Dental Diseases Early


Catching signs of dental diseases on time can help prevent or delay their progression. When dental problems such as gum disease go undetected, they can cause tooth loss, jawbone loss, and even trigger heart disease.

Start Treatment Promptly


Early detection makes it more likely that your dentist can treat dental problems successfully. Most dental problems can be prevented and cured with timely treatment. Prompt treatment also reduces your chances of getting secondary health problems.

Are Dental X-rays Safe?


Many people worry that X-rays are not safe because of radiation exposure. Anxiety may stem from the concern that radiation can trigger cell mutations that may cause cancer. For these concerns, consider the following:

  • The amount of radiation you come into contact with during an X-ray depends on the organ or tissue. Thick body tissues or organs may require higher radiation doses.

  • Age determines how sensitive your body will be to radiation, with kids being more sensitive to radiation than grownups.

Generally, X-rays have low doses of radiation and deemed safe for children and adults.

How Often Should You Get Dental X-rays?


Everyone’s dental health differs. Patients with broken teeth, dental or gum disease and other urgent dental situations may need X-rays every six months. These will help determine their dental condition and the best course of treatment. Also, regular X-rays are necessary during certain procedures to ensure appropriate treatment and well-fitting restorations.

If you are not on treatment for any dental issues, you may need to get an X-ray once a year or every few years. Also, when you are a new patient to the practice, the doctor needs to look at your oral health. An X-ray will help determine your diagnosis and treatment plan.

For more information on X-rays, visit Hamlin Modern Dentistry at our office in Winter Garden, Florida. Call (407) 993-6370 to book an appointment today.

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