Radiographs are an essential part of good patient care.
X-rays are taken because we can see only one third of the teeth in the mouth so they help us visualize what we cannot see with the clinical exam. An X-ray may reveal:
- areas of decay between the teeth or recurrent decay under existing fillings;
- infections in the bone;
- gum disease;
- abscesses or cysts;
- developmental abnormalities;
- some types of tumors.
In addition, many dental diseases and conditions are asymptomatic until advanced and radiographs help us with early intervention in those situations.
The frequency of x-rays depends on the patient's individual oral health needs. Adults who are at an increased caries risk, present with obvious clinical decay, have generalized dental disease or a history of extensive dental treatment in the past, are recommended to have posterior bitewings taken every 6-12 months. Patient who have had minimal dental treatment in the past and are at a low caries risk may have their x-rays taken every 12-24 months.
For new patients, the dentist may recommend a full set of radiographs to complement the clinical oral exam. If you have had recent radiographs at your previous dentist, please make sure you have those forwarded to our office. Radiographs are vital to proper diagnosis. Without the necessary x-rays, we compromise our ability to provide competent care.