General Dentistry: How a Dentist Uses X-rays in a Dental Exam

General Dentistry Knoxville, TN

General dentistry relies on X-rays to obtain valuable information. Without the use of this traditional imaging tool, dentists could overlook problems hiding beneath the teeth. Find out how X-rays uncover the whole story of your teeth and why they are important for treatment.

Purposes of X-rays in general dentistry

Dentists need X-ray images for detecting problems not visible during oral exams. Typical dental conditions revealed include:

  • Decay and cavities in the spaces between teeth or inside the teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Infections in the jaw or root canal
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts or tumors

For children, dentists monitor developing teeth to make sure there is space for incoming permanent teeth, identify impacted teeth, and find decay. X-rays allow dentists to take care of these dental issues for children before problems get worse.

X-rays also help dentists prepare patients’ teeth for future procedures such as dental implants and dentures. For children and adolescents, this imaging can show the condition and position of wisdom teeth, which determines whether surgery or other treatment is needed.

Sometimes, dentists do not receive previous X-rays from new patients. To get as much information as possible, new X-rays may be taken and added to new patient files during the first appointment.

Recommended X-ray schedule

General dentistry guidelines for X-rays vary according to age, dental history, medical issues, and current dental condition. To treat and monitor decay in adults, dentists may take X-rays every 12 to 18 months until the decay is gone. If patients show no decay or are not high-risk, this imaging may be less frequent. The American Dental Association recommends X-rays every two to three years for healthy adults who have no major dental issues.

High-risk patients

Certain conditions place patients in the high-risk category for dental problems. Patients with extensive dental work need more frequent exams, including X-rays, to check if they have decay under their fillings or other new areas. Patients who have gum disease or are at risk for gum disease need to be monitored closely for bone loss. At-risk patients can include smokers, diabetics, or those who have diets high in sugar or have poor overall nutrition.

Children

For children, guidelines recommend X-rays every six months or until the first permanent tooth develops. Regular dental imaging during childhood prevents more complicated dental issues in the future, as dentists can locate and treat tooth decay early in development. 

Safety concerns

If you are hesitant to get X-rays due to safety concerns, your dentist can tell you what to expect. Although radiation amounts emitted during the imaging process are extremely minimal, dental office staff follow strict procedures to keep you protected from unnecessary radiation exposure. Ask your dentist to explain X-ray procedures and how the images are used to treat your condition.

Conclusion

Dental X-rays are a valuable tool in general dentistry. By helping dentists to identify issues early and monitor the progress of diagnosed conditions, this imaging allows for effective dental care and treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://fountaincitydental.com or call Dental Partners Fountain City at (865) 672-6525 for an appointment in our Knoxville office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentistry in Knoxville, TN.

Related Posts

Signs A Broken Tooth Is An Emergency

A broken tooth does not always count as a dental emergency unless it requires immediate dental care. A broken tooth can be the result of biting into something too hard, especially if the tooth has already been weakened by tooth decay. It can also be caused by trauma to the face or habits like teeth…

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Appearance

Have you considered turning to cosmetic dentistry services to restore your smile? If you do not like the way your teeth look, there are solutions. Your cosmetic dentist has multiple options to help you feel good about the way you look once more. You no longer have to hide your face or avoid being around…

3 Tips On Choosing A Restorative Dentist

Many individuals are apprehensive about finding a restorative dentist. They want a dentist who can help them restore their smile to look more natural and appealing. This field of dentistry is concerned with repairing damage to the teeth and restoring normal dental functions.The restorative dentist must be ready to listen to their patients about their…

Can I Have Braces If I Have A Dental Implant?

A dental implant may impact your teeth straightening options and treatment itself. You likely have a dental implant because you have had a missing tooth and chose an implant as your tooth replacement option, along with a dental restoration such as a crown. A healthy mouth is one that has a full set of straight…

Related Posts

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Appearance

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Appearance

Have you considered turning to cosmetic dentistry services to restore your smile? If you do not like the way your teeth look, there are solutions. Your cosmetic dentist has multiple options to help you feel good about the way you look once more. You no longer have to hide your face or avoid being around…

Tips On Choosing A Restorative Dentist

3 Tips On Choosing A Restorative Dentist

Many individuals are apprehensive about finding a restorative dentist. They want a dentist who can help them restore their smile to look more natural and appealing. This field of dentistry is concerned with repairing damage to the teeth and restoring normal dental functions.The restorative dentist must be ready to listen to their patients about their…