Everybody knows that you should visit the dentist every six months to ensure a clean and healthy smile, but did you also know that a part of complete dental care calls for regular x-rays to get a more in-depth look at your teeth? Although when you think of x-rays you typically think of fractured or broken bone, they are also a critical tool in the oral health diagnostic process. X-rays allow the dentist to see damage to the structure of your enamel and root that would not be visible through an ordinary examination. Here are of the most important reasons to keep up-to-date with your dental x-rays.

  • X-rays can detect a whole host of problems not visible to the eye.
    • X-rays help your dentist more easily spot developing cavities and tooth decay, but they can also spot some more serious problems that are also difficult to spot during a routine exam. Some of the health hazards that dental X-rays can detect include:
      • Cysts
      • Infections in the gums
      • Abscesses in the gums
      • Tumors
      • Mouth or oral cancer
    • These serious maladies can cause numerous other problems in other areas of the body. Untreated oral infections can cause the infections to get into your bloodstream and cause septicemia; oral cancer left untreated can metastasize and spread to your lymph nodes. Getting dental X-rays is the only way to spot these problems early on and begin treating them before they become something much worse.
  • X-rays can determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be extracted.
    • If you have impacted wisdom teeth, it’s important to remove them before they can cause any serious damage to your bite and the position of your teeth. X-rays are the only surefire way to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and whether or not they need to be removed to ensure no future damage to your smile.
  • Your teeth change a lot; X-rays help you stay on top of that change.
    • Sure, when you’re an adult your teeth don’t undergo that much change on a day to day basis, but when you’re young and your teeth are forming and developing and falling out, your bite can change rather quickly. Dental X-rays help to make sure that teeth are developing properly and aren’t coming in crooked.

Dr. Kami Hoss explains how regularly you need dental X-rays all depends on the person. Some people may need X-rays only every few years while some people need them every six months when they visit the dentist. It’s important to talk to your dentist and learn about the role that dental X-rays should play in your life.

Read more on Dr. Kami Hoss to stay informed about oral health.