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X-Rays – What are They Used For?

By Jane Roots, RDH | Dental Hygienist

There’s a lot more to your teeth than what you can see with the naked eye. Luckily, we have X-rays to see parts of your teeth that aren’t easily visible, like in between tooth surfaces. Dental X-rays are just like X-rays for any other part of your body. A special machine using a form of electromagnetic radiation similar to light but of shorter wavelength penetrates through the solid surface of your body to produce a radiograph – or picture – of what’s inside.

X-rays help your care providers see inside your teeth and under the gums. In fact, X-rays provide an in-depth look at all different parts of your mouth and jaw including your teeth from the crown to the root, inside and out.

These “pictures” of your teeth are used to find dental problems like cavities, cracks, infections, and more. Using X-rays allows your care provider to identify and treat issues early, often preventing future oral health complications.

For children, dental X-rays are necessary to closely monitor the progress of the adult teeth and the jaw’s growth and development. Dental X-rays are also used to assess the health of the bone that surrounds the root of the tooth as well as look for any teeth that haven’t made their way up through the gums.

Dental X-rays are typically performed every six months or, in some cases, annually. However, it may be necessary for X-rays to be taken more often if your dentist is tracking the process of a dental issue or you have pain or irritation anywhere in your mouth.

Schedule an appointment with a NOAH dental provider for a comprehensive oral health assessment to develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.