Perhaps you have ever gone to a hospital with a tooth problem, and your dentist asked you to first go for a dental X-ray before they can prescribe any treatment. X-rays are common in dental practice and can be done if you have cavities, cracked teeth, or periodontitis, among others. Some people tend to fear x-rays and recoil in fear when their dentists recommend them. The X-rays use radiography to take the images and are much safe, but you could have wondered what precisely the dentist was trying to achieve or whether it was necessary in the first place.
1. Clearer View
While physical examinations of some dental issues are visible to naked eyes, some are just not. Dental X-rays help detect even the minute traces of oral health issues such as gum diseases, cavities, or dental infections. Your dentist wants to be sure that of what is ailing your teeth. While what you tell your dentist is important, a dentist worth their salt will go an extra step to verify or check whether there could be any other issue other than what appears on the surface.
Most tooth decay happens between the teeth. If your dentist were to do a physical examination solely, he would be missing much of the details. Dental problems like abscess, periodontitis, and gingivitis are complex and therefore need careful examination. Sometimes they could want to check the extent of the cavity, which sometimes extends downward to a canal. As a result, your dentist can identify other dental problems early before they become full-blown.
2. Show Bigger Picture
A dentist worth their salt will not focus on treating the symptoms. They might need to know the root cause of the issue to advise you accordingly. Dental X-rays can reveal other problems such as infections, loss of tooth bones, oral pathologies like tumors and cancer. Dental X-rays can therefore enable dentists to uncover the underlying cause behind your tooth cavity or gum disease. Based on what they find, they are in a position to advice about the cause of your problem. In many cases, your dentist will prescribe a diet or, generally, the measures you can take to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
3. Monitor the Progress of Your Tooth
Sometimes your dentist may want to monitor the progress of treatment. If you are undergoing treatment like a root canal, your doctor may see it fit to do an X-ray to check your progress, especially if you have developed further problems thereafter. Sometimes it could be one of your regular dental checkups. If your dentist senses something amiss, he may require you to do an X-ray to examine your teeth carefully.
4. Assess the Position of your Teeth During Extraction
If your tooth is severely damaged, your dentist may resort to removing it. When extracting it, they may want to ascertain the shape or position of your ailing tooth, particularly molars where the view is limited. X-ray enables them to know the position or shape of the tooth and its root for ease of extraction.