Have you ever wondered why dentists need to take x-rays?

 Adriano Ronica 1994 08 29 PAN05

X-rays (radiographs) are one of the most vital tools that dentists have to accurately diagnose dental problems. Sometimes it isn't just a one off x-ray but a series of images over time that help provide the most accurate answers.

Here's why:

1. Look for decay between the teeth, because it isn't always visible to the naked eye.

2. Check for decay underneath fillings (we can't see that with just our eyes either).

3. Check for bone loss associated with gum disease. Gum disease (periodontitis) causes loss of bone around teeth; x-rays show how advanced the disease process is.

4. Look for infection at the root tips. Infections involving a tooth's nerve often show at the tips of the roots.

5. Look for abnormal growths, because it is more than just gum disease and dental decay that we worry about.

6. Examine the area before procedures. X-rays give a detailed view of the bone and teeth, and important structures such as nerves and the sinuses.

7. ACC; did you know that when applying to ACC for approval of more advanced restorative procedures, ACC request a full 5 years of clinical history and xrays.