Why do I need yearly x-rays for my teeth?

dental-x-ray

Do you need to get x-rays if your mouth is healthy?

If you go to the dentist regularly, then you are probably familiar with the request for x-rays. Some people wonder if regular x-rays are necessary, especially if you have good oral health. We’ll explain why it’s important to receive this vital dental service on a regular basis.

What do dental x-rays do?

You first may wonder, what are dental x-rays, and what do they do? That’s a great question. First of all, when dentists exam a patients teeth and gums during an oral exam, they can only evaluate the outer condition and symptoms of the teeth.

It’s possible that while the exterior of the teeth may look ok, there could be more going on beneath the surface. This is where x-rays come in.

Oral x-rays take a picture that allows dentists to see the inside of the tooth, where the root and pulp of the tooth are. This allows dental professionals to see if any teeth are close to being compromised by a cavity, gum irritation, or bone loss. With this information on board, a dentist can take any steps necessary to remedy any issues that are found.

What type of x-rays are needed?

Some dentists may prefer different types of x-rays for their patients. The most common x-ray is often called a bite wing x-ray. These are often taken in the four quadrants of the mouth, to get a look inside the molars. These are side views of the teeth.

Another type of x-ray that some dentist can use is called a panoramic x-ray or full mouth x-ray. These x-ray machines usually get a full sweep of the mouth that can give a more detailed view of all teeth. Some dentists may only take a full mouth x-ray if they suspect a potential issue.

Does dental insurance cover x-rays?

If your dentist wants to do an x-ray, is it covered under your dental plan? For most people, the answer is yes. Most dental plans include coverage for certain x-rays at least once a year.

This is often included in one of the routine dental exams that most dental plans allow during the year.

So why do I need regular oral x-rays?

Ok. We’ve been discussing dental x-rays, but let’s finally answer your initial question. The reason patients need regular oral x-rays, is that a patients oral health can change over time, even if they have good habits of daily oral hygiene.

A routine x-ray can allow a dentist to notice any change in the teeth over time and potentially catch a new oral issue before it becomes a major problem. The good news is that x-rays are generally painless.

Take advantage of the modern technology of dental x-rays

Well that’s a lot of talk about x-rays. The bottom line is that getting an oral x-ray once a year won’t hurt you. They are generally painless, and most dental plans will cover them in full. So be sure to see your dentist for regular dental check up’s and say yes when they ask for a dental x-ray.


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