What are Dental X-Rays Used for?

Dental X-rays are used in the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases. As dental X-rays pass through the body, they will occasionally show other bones and organs. In order to prevent harming these parts of the body, medical entities such as hospitals employ strict safety procedures regarding risks for personnel who use or handle the device and patients who receive an X-ray. 

Dental X-rays can be taken in many ways, including directly on teeth (known as intraoral), by capturing images with a camera, or by placing an injectable film over teeth (known as extraoral). A dentist in Littleton usually recommends taking an X-ray if the cause of any pain or discomfort cannot be pinpointed.  Dental X-rays can help find hidden decay in teeth, bone loss around teeth, inflammation of the pulp (living part of the tooth), narrowing of spaces between teeth, or damage to teeth caused by tooth-grinding.

Let us see what all can dental X-rays expose.

  • Abscesses or cysts

A dental X-ray helps in detecting abscesses and cysts. Abscesses and cysts often are painful conditions that require draining of the accumulation. You should tell the dentist if you have had prior surgeries in the area of pain as there may be scar tissue that could show on the X-rays.

  • Cavities

The cavities in your teeth are also visible on dental X-rays. If you are someone who has a lot of cavities, you should visit your dentist regularly for checkups. This will help detect if there is a cavity developing before it reaches the pulp chamber and causes an infection.

  • Bone loss

Dental X-rays can also reveal the loss of bone around the teeth, which is referred to as bone loss. This usually occurs due to periodontal disease and the loss of support from the bone. The root gets exposed and starts living in an open environment, feeding on bacteria that are around it. This has a gradual worsening effect, which is likely to cause your teeth to become loose or even fall out.

  • Decay between the teeth

In a situation where the decay is in between your teeth and is not yet visible to the naked eye, a dentist can use X-rays to determine if the decay has reached the pulp. A dentist might also use this opportunity to check possible cavities that may be hard to see otherwise.

  • Developmental abnormalities

Dental X-rays are also used to detect any developmental abnormalities in a child’s mouth. This can include missing or extra teeth, underdeveloped jaw tissues, cysts in the joint areas, jaw fractures, and many such problems.