What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Help Discover?

Nov 02, 2023
What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Help Discover?
Dental X-rays are an essential tool in detecting hidden issues and ensuring your smile stays radiant and healthy.

For many people visiting TLN Family Dental, the mention of dental X-rays conjures images of large machines and heavy aprons lined with lead. However, the newer machines allow us to capture detailed images with minimal radiation exposure. Dental X-ray images allow us to deliver the best care for your oral health.

Dental X-rays, also known as radiographs, help dental professionals see things we couldn’t see with the naked eye during a routine visual examination. Here is a list of issues dental X-rays can help us discover:

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay, especially the kind that occurs between teeth, can often be difficult to detect visually. X-rays give us a clearer look at these areas, helping to identify cavities in their early stages. Addressing these issues early on prevents them from escalating into more severe problems that might necessitate more extensive treatments.

2. Bone loss

Conditions such as periodontal (gum) disease can lead to bone loss in the jaw. A dental X-ray can reveal this loss, enabling timely interventions. Oftentimes this is the only way the early stages of periodontal disease can be seen. Monitoring the bone levels in your jaw is crucial for maintaining a healthy foundation for your teeth.

3. Dental infections

Inside the root of every tooth is a space known as the pulp chamber, which houses the tooth's nerves and blood vessels. An infection can ensue when bacteria invade this space, often leading to pain and swelling. An X-ray can help us detect these infections by showing dark spots at the root tips, which indicate abscesses.

4. Tumors and cysts

While uncommon, cysts and tumors can develop in the oral cavity. An X-ray can detect these abnormalities, which are not always visible or palpable during a routine dental examination. Early detection can be lifesaving.

5. Impacted teeth

An impacted tooth has not erupted into its proper position in the mouth due to a lack of space or improper angulation. Wisdom teeth often become impacted. Dental X-rays can clearly show the position of these teeth, helping us decide the best course of action, which may include extraction.

6. Developmental abnormalities

Children and adolescents often undergo dental X-rays to monitor the development and eruption of their teeth. X-rays can pinpoint teeth that are missing or extra and help us strategize treatment plans for orthodontic care.

7. Tooth fractures

While some fractures are evident immediately following trauma, others might be subtle and hard to detect. Dental X-rays can help identify these fractures, ensuring compromised teeth receive the necessary care.

The importance of regular dental X-rays

We understand the concerns some patients have about radiation exposure. However, it's essential to know that modern dental X-ray machines emit minimal radiation, making the procedure safe for most people. The benefits of early detection and timely intervention far outweigh the minimal risks involved.

Regular dental X-rays are a vital tool in preventive family dentistry. By revealing hidden issues, we can address problems in their early stages, saving you potential pain, discomfort, and cost in the future. At TLN Family Dental we combine traditional dental x-rays with a 2 dimensional radiation free scan. This allows for less needed dental x-rays to be taken and a more thorough and accurate disease assessment and treatment planning process. 

We encourage you to call or schedule a consultation online for your routine checkups and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your oral health is in the expert hands of the TLN Family Dental team at our Houston or Pearland, Texas locations.