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Why Dental X-rays Are Taken | United Concordia

Common Dental Questions

Benefits of X-rays

 

Question:

Why are dental x-rays taken?

 

Answer:

Dental x-rays are used to create a picture of teeth and gums, and the bone and ligaments that hold teeth in place. This picture is called a radiograph, and it is used by dentists to look for disease or check on tooth development that cannot be seen with the naked eye. 

 

What dentists are looking for

Specifically, dentists use radiographs to look between teeth and beneath the surface of teeth and gums. They check for signs of tooth decay, missing teeth, infections, gum disease, cysts and some types of tumors. They look for things that can’t be seen or felt during a physical examination of the mouth. 

X-rays may also be taken to measure the progress of certain dental procedures or treatments that cannot be viewed directly with the eye. Root canal therapy and the placement of dental implants are two examples.

 

The importance of x-rays for children and teens

When viewing the dental x-rays of children and teenagers, dentists will check to be sure that there is enough space available for incoming teeth. They also monitor the development and position of third molars, commonly called “wisdom teeth.” 

 

Helping to find oral health problems early

Taking x-rays can help dentists find oral health problems at an early stage. Teeth and their supporting structures change over time, so x-rays need to be taken often enough to identify any problems that may be developing. Finding problems early is important to successful treatment. It can save time, money, and unnecessary discomfort for the patient.