The short answer to this question is yes. Dental x-rays are a good annual practice. Our pros here at Danville Family Dentistry can tell a lot about your oral health and your teeth just by looking at them. However, a visual examination can’t tell us everything we need to know to keep you healthy.


What are X-Rays Used For?

Mouth X-rays are used to take an in-depth look at your tooth, the roots, the supporting bone, and tissue. They help dentists by:

  • Monitoring oral health
  • Offering preventive advice
  • Finding cavities
  • Looking at tooth roots
  • Observing the status of developing teeth
  • Checking surrounding bones
  • Determining the development of gum disease


The Different Types of X-Rays

There are six different kinds of X-rays a dentist might consider, depending on your current problems or health.

  1. Bitewing—these are the most common dental X-rays used, and you’ve probably used them before. This is where you bite down on a hard piece of plastic, and the dentist can use these images to check for bone health and cavities.
  2. Occlusal—an occlusal X-ray takes one big picture of your whole mouth, with your mouth closed. The dentist can see how your bite lines up, and they can check for any palate issues.
  3. Panoramic—this is a dental X-ray taken while you’re standing up, inside a sort of booth. The X-ray machine rotates all around your entire head so that the dentist can see your jaw, placement of teeth, and even your sinuses.
  4. Periapical—if you’ve never heard of a periapical X-ray, this is where a dentist takes an image of two particular teeth, from root to crown. It can help identify very specific issues.
  5. Digital—it seems everything is digital these days, even X-rays. Digital X-rays can be used to reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation and can sometimes be more accurate than traditional X-rays.
  6. Extraoral—an extraoral X-ray usually focuses more on the jaw, when the dentist thinks there might be an issue beyond your teeth and gums.


How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

If you’re a new patient, most dentists will want to get new X-rays to evaluate your oral health. After all, they’ll need a baseline for advising treatment plans in the future. An X-ray is recommended according to a patient’s needs. So, if you had an X-ray six months ago, but you have a sore tooth, our experts would recommend getting a new X-ray to see what’s going on inside your mouth. Besides being a new patient, or experiencing new pain, dental offices usually want to get new X-rays every year as a way to monitor your oral health.

Are you due for an X-ray? You can call us today at 317-745-4400 to schedule an appointment.


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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.