How Are X-Rays Used?
X-ray images are among the most valuable tools a dentist has for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. They are also called dental radiographs.
For adults, dental X-rays are used to:
- Look for areas of decay that the dentist may not be able to see just by looking, such as decay between teeth
- Look for decay under a filling
- Look for cracks or other damage in a filling
- Alert the dentist to possible bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease
- Show problems in the root of a tooth, such as infection or death of the nerve
- Help your dentist plan, prepare and place tooth implants, braces, dentures or other dental work
- Look for other problems, such as cysts, cancer or changes caused by diseases of the body
For children and teens, X-rays are used to find decay and damage to fillings, and to monitor tooth growth and development. They are also used to:
- Check on whether permanent teeth are developing and coming in properly
- See if any teeth are impacted (unable to come through the gums)
- Help the dentist plan, prepare and place braces
Often, catching a small problem in tooth development early can prevent major problems later on.
More About X-Rays
- How Often Should Teeth Be X-Rayed?
- Types of X-Rays
- X-Ray Photos
- X-Ray Frequency Guidelines
- X-Ray Safety
- X-Rays for Children
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