Most people understand the need for heading to the dentist for regular cleanings every six months. When it comes to scheduling dental exams, it can be a little bit harder to convince patients of the need for maintaining consistency. Some think that because their teeth don’t hurt, and they look good, that means there’s no need for a professional exam. This is, simply put, not the case.
When a patient comes in for an examination, dentists typically perform a visual exam to evaluate the condition of a patient’s mouth. However, they also use digital dental X-rays, which can provide a much more telling picture. X-rays can uncover problems with a patient’s teeth or jaw that could otherwise go unnoticed. Common issues diagnosed with X-rays include cavities, bone loss, and the need for wisdom tooth extractions. By discovering any problems early, before any visual sign or physical symptom of them has been noticed, patients will often have a wider range of treatment options available to them. In addition to finding otherwise unnoticeable problems with bone structures, digital dental X-rays can uncover issues such as impacted teeth, and the growth of cysts, tumors, or abscesses. These issues are can be extremely serious, and should be diagnosed as early as possible to increase the chances of successful treatment.
In addition to using them for early diagnosis, dentists sometimes use X-rays to help establish treatment plans. If a patient has large cavities that need to be filled, is in need of a root canal surgery, or plans to have implants placed, or particularly difficult teeth removed, his or her dentist will probably order diagnostic imaging tests like these. Knowing the exact condition of the teeth that need to be worked on can help dental professionals to provide better services.
Although all X-rays necessarily use a small amount of radiation, they are not dangerous to patients’ health. While these painless tests are performed, patients are typically placed beneath a blanket specifically designed to keep radiation out. Those who are pregnant, however, should always alert their dentists, and any other health professionals, to the fact that they are expecting. Additional precautions sometimes need to be taken. Those looking for a dentist to perform diagnostic tests, offer preventative care, or treat a known dental issue can contact Lewis Family Dentistry. You can also connect them on Facebook.