ARE DENTAL X-RAYS IMPORTANT?
We trek all the way to our dental office in downtown Seattle: the hygienist cleans our teeth, we get an exam and then we’re asked to take x-rays.
WHAT?! WHY DO I NEED X-RAYS? IS THAT NECESSARY?
Lets begin by imagining this scenario: You get your teeth cleaned. Right after the cleaning the dentist performs an exam. She’s young, has great eyesight and is even wearing the most modern glasses with highly specialized microscope lenses.
“Everything looks great,” she says.
If your appointment were to end here your dentists could be missing something huge. Two of the five sides of a tooth are impossible to see with even the best glasses. The crammed spaces between each tooth are bacteria’s favorite spaces to hide. Infection’s also often present at the root of the tooth in the jawbone. Before any signs of pain or discomfort these problems can establish themselves unbeknownst to anyone.
This is why x-rays are so revolutionary. They capture an image that can show subtle differences in density within the tooth. A trained professional can examine them and identify if any cavities are forming inside a tooth. X-rays also provide pictures of the jawbone that the teeth are rooted in. A dentist who has read hundreds, if not thousands of dental x-rays can examine the image and quickly identify areas where the jawbone may be impaired or eroding.
Yes, it’s true. Due to infection or the long-term absence of a tooth, the bone in the jaw can erode and degrade away.
DENTISTS DON’T JUST LIKE TO HAVE X-RAYS: THEY NEED THEM.
Now let’s be clear – x-rays don’t need to be taken at every appointment. Dentists must have x-rays on file that are current. In most cases an up-to-date x-ray means that it has been taken within a year.
Stay tuned! Next week we will continue with this theme and describe the innovative, leading-edge x-ray technology that we utilize here at Bell Harbour Dental. We’ll also discuss the risks that come associated with x-ray radiation and how our modern practices minimize these risks while providing even more accurate images than ever before.
For now, remember that x-rays are an integral component of comprehensive dental care. Next time Dr. McAninley or Dr. Pawlowski examines your x-rays ask them to show you around a bit. You’ll be surprised by the different details they can pull out of a black and white image!
Bell Harbour Dental is a family owned, patient-first dental practice in the heart of Belltown, Seattle. Check us on out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or contact us today to assist you in taking initiative towards vibrant dental health!