Can you recall everything your State College dentist did for you during your last dental appointment? Sometimes it can all be a blur from the moment you come in the office.
Typically, you’ll be greeted and comforted by a friendly office member. Then, you’ll be ushered to the back of the office for your routine dental exam and cleaning. In the midst of sitting in the dental chair, you remember a dental assistant or hygienist explaining that you’ll be undergoing a dental x-ray.
Now that you think about it, can you recall what a dental x-ray does for you? If not, this post is for you!
What does a dental x-ray do for you?
If you’re not a scientist, you may not understand the ins and outs of how a dental x-ray works. Basically, when an x-ray is taken, a special light travels through your skin and bounces off targets in your mouth. The calcium in your bones are those targets, cultivating a picture that can clearly outline all the structures in your mouth. Your dentist will be able to see bone loss, infections, and small amounts of tooth decay.
What does your dentist look for when examining a dental x-ray?
As mentioned above, there are a variety of things that your dentist can use dental x-rays for. Dental x-rays help your dentist identify these issues:
- Disease and decay around teeth and surrounding tissues.
- Infection or bone loss.
- Development of teeth—especially for kids.
- Tumors or cysts.
- Cavities or other oral health concerns
- Wisdom tooth development.
- Decay residing underneath existing dental work.
- Detect and treat dental problems early on, reducing pain and cost for patients.
How often are dental x-rays taken?
Everyone should be receiving a dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months. But, you could require more frequent appointments depending on your current health and dental history. Typically, you should receive a dental x-ray every 6 months unless otherwise directed by your dentist.
If your oral health is in good standing, you may not need dental x-rays as often. Some patients may only really need dental x-rays every few years, but that should be determined by a dental professional. If your upcoming dental appointment is your very first appointment, your dentist will perform a dental x-ray to better understand where your oral health stands. The results will also be used to create your personal dental treatment plan.
Still wondering how dental x-rays can help you? Your dentist would be happy to explain how they work!
About Our Office
Dr. Chris J. Devlin believes in the power of prevention to maintain great oral health. Although your expert dental team is here to help you if you need restorations or other dental work, we know and promote healthy mouths from the very beginning. Ready to discuss your dental health and how we can improve it? Give our office a call.