why dentist take xrays

The Real Reason the Dentist takes X-Rays

why dentist take xraysBloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA

Dental x-rays usually are recommended at least once a year during your checkup and cleaning, when an emergency dental treatment is needed, to derive a treatment plan for care, or pre-treatment estimates for insurance purposes. However, some patients question the legitimacy of getting these x-rays, especially during a checkup when there seem to be no problems with their teeth. However, there are several significant reasons why the dentist recommends x-rays at least once a year. So today on the blog, our family dentists in Bloomsburg share the real reason the dentist takes x-rays.

Dental x-rays have come a long way. They are now safer than ever, thanks to digital x-ray scans that emit only a fraction of radiation compared to traditional x-rays of the past. You might wonder why the dentist needs to take x-rays if you aren’t in any pain or have any problems with your teeth. The answer? Prevention. Preventive care helps you avoid more costly repairs, and hopefully, discomfort, too. Dental problems like cavities, jawbone recession, and abnormal growths can be detected on x-rays. Often, these problems don’t cause any pain and aren’t noticeable until they advance, which is why x-rays should be an essential part of your yearly dental exam.

Having dental x-rays once a year also documents the state of your oral health, which could reveal any changes throughout the years. Tracking changes in your dental health begins by establishing a baseline, which shows the state of your teeth right now. That way, if potential concerns arise, digital radiographs can be compared to past ones to determine the extent of the changes.

Why can’t the dentist see cavities?

The same logic applies in dentistry. Dentists can see cavities, but not until they are more advanced, and only if the cavity is on a visible surface of the tooth. Additionally, dentists cannot see cavities that develop between teeth or along the edge of dental crowns. For example, if you injured your hand and went to the doctor, they couldn’t determine if it was broken or not without taking an x-ray. Also, a doctor couldn’t adjust cholesterol or thyroid medication without checking to see what’s “inside” by taking a blood sample.

Will my dental insurance cover my x-rays?

We recommend consulting with our office manager to clarify your dental benefits. However, many dental insurance plans cover bitewing x-rays once a year. But if you do not have insurance or x-rays aren’t covered, talk to the dentist about the best preventive care plan for you. Some individuals with frequent dental problems may require x-rays more often than those that rarely have any issues.

Family Dentists in Bloomsburg

If it’s been a while since you had x-rays at the dentist, it might be time to schedule a checkup and exam. One of the best ways to prevent oral diseases like cavities and gum disease is preventive care, including x-rays. To learn more ways to protect your oral health or schedule an appointment, call Hamilton Dental Care at (570) 387-0533.