Sometimes at bi-annual checkups, San Francisco residents are in a rush. They want to avoid dental x-rays and skip straight to teeth cleaning.
But our dentists recommend their patients always get dental x-rays during their bi-annual checkups. The reason – dental x-rays can catch a number of oral health issues early on. And the earlier you catch an issue, the easier it is to treat.
Here’s a list of 6 conditions that dental x-rays reveal:
Tooth Decay and Cavities That Can’t Be Visibly Seen
You may have an obvious darkening of a tooth that you know is a cavity. But that isn’t how they typically present. When you visit your dentist, it’s important to have dental x-rays performed because most cavities form in between teeth and in tiny spaces that can be visibly seen. X-rays, however, can catch these cavities so they can be addressed before they become bigger issues.
Tooth Decay Beneath Existing Fillings
We hate to break it to you, but a visit to the dentist to get a tooth drilled and filled doesn’t mean the cavity in that tooth is gone forever. Some dental patients will discover that they have existing decay beneath a dental filling. Yikes!
When this occurs, your existing filling needs to be removed, your tooth needs to be drilled deeper, and a new filling needs to be placed. Sometimes, the decay beneath the filling is so deep that a root canal and crown is the only option for saving the tooth.
Bone Loss in the Jaw
Certain issues, like missing teeth or periodontitis, can cause jaw bone tissue loss. This can make it more likely for San Francisco patients to lose teeth in the future. Luckily, jawbone tissue loss can be diagnosed by your dentist via a dental x-ray.
Changes in the Jaw Bone or Root Canal Caused by Infection
A root canal is meant to save a tooth, but it doesn’t mean it’ll save the tooth forever. Sometimes, additional infections can occur in the jawbone or root of the tooth, requiring it to be extracted. Since these elements of the tooth can’t be viewed, your dentist can only diagnose this issue if you have dental x-rays taken.
Sometimes patients make additional trips to the dentist because they have a toothache. One cause of a tooth that hurts can be an abscessed tooth. While significant abscesses might be visible, smaller ones will need to be diagnosed by a dental x-ray.
Cysts and Some Types of Tumors
No San Francisco resident wants to find out they have a cyst or tumor in the jawbone. But it does happen. That’s why it’s necessary that you have your dentist x-ray your mouth every 6 months. The sooner one of these conditions is discovered, the quicker it can be resolved, which increases your chances for a more favorable outcome.
Schedule Your Next Dentist Appointment Today
Our practice is conveniently located near San Francisco area, which is why so many patients who work there, pop in and out during the work day for a quick dentist visit.
If you need to schedule your next check up including dental x-rays, call our office today at (415) 757-0110.