Your teeth look great, you’re not in any pain, and your dentist hasn’t found any cavities. Yet, your dentist still wants to do x-rays. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why do I need dental x-rays?” There are a number of reasons why dental x-rays are important, even if your teeth seem to be just fine on the outside.
Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays?
Dental X-Rays Help to Catch Problems Early On
Dental x-rays are extremely useful because they can identify problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Even if your teeth seem healthy, there could still be problems brewing underneath. Dental x-rays can show the beginnings of cavities, identify wisdom teeth or other teeth which aren’t yet exposed, help to pinpoint gum disease, and they can also draw attention to areas where you may be experiencing bone loss or the beginning of other dental issues.
When your dentist identifies that these issues have begun and you are at risk, they will know to monitor your teeth to make sure that the problems are resolved. Your dentist may also choose to intervene early on, based on information that has been provided by the x-rays. Early intervention can lessen the severity of some dental problems—for instance, a dentist may choose to remove wisdom teeth before they have time to crowd and create misalignment in your permanent teeth. Dental x-rays give dentists the knowledge they need to manage and even avoid dental issues down the road.
Dental X-Rays Help to Monitor Growth
Dental x-rays are particularly important for children, since they provide an excellent way to monitor dental growth and progress. Children grow rapidly and undergo major dental changes in the process, which can increase the potential for dental issues and misaligned teeth. Because of this, dentists typically encourage more regular x-rays to better monitor a child’s growth. Dental x-rays can provide an early indication of whether a child may need braces, which gives parents additional time to plan financially for the treatment.
Dental X-Rays Help to Monitor Your Dental History
Still wondering, “Why do I need dental x-rays?” Think about the important information that x-rays can offer to your dentist if they are taken over a number of years. If you have dental x-rays taken regularly, they can provide a historical account of your dental health and the changes that have taken place over the years. Your dentist will be able to look back at your x-rays to get a sense of how your teeth have moved and aligned in the past, and this documentation can help them identify potential oral problems you may confront in the future.
Additionally, dental x-rays can help familiarize a new dentist with your dental health. If you change dentists, having a baseline of your dental history will help your new dentist properly care for your teeth, making your transition into the new dental practice easier and less stressful.
Dental x-rays are a necessary part of any thorough dental care program. The next time that you wonder, “Why do I need dental x-rays?,” consider the many benefits that x-rays provide to both you and your dentist.
At Wilkinson Dental, we utilize the latest technology so that we can provide you with the best dental care possible. Dr. Wilkinson recommends that all patients have new digital dental X-rays taken at every six-month check-up, no matter what your age or oral health status. If you need a new dentist and you live in or near Springfield, MO, please give us a call at 417-708-0556 or contact us online.