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Why do Dentists Take X-Rays?

Xray Depositphotos_13386483_originalEver since you have been a little you’ve had x-rays performed when you visit the dentist. Chances are the first x-ray that you ever had performed, was while you were in the dental seat.

Here are the reasons why your dentist may be taking x-rays.

Identify Decay

One of the main reasons why a dentist may take x-rays is to identify decay that can’t be identified by the naked eye. Tooth decay can lead to cavities or gum disease which are both serious health issues that need to be addressed immediately.

Bone Loss

Once gum disease has progressed to a serious stage individuals can actually experience bone loss. X-rays can help dentists see where the jawbone has been eaten away. Bone loss may require a bone grafting procedure to remedy the issues.

To View One Tooth

A periapical x-ray can show an entire tooth. Dentists use these x-rays to expose the tooth from the crown to the end of the root and the bone beneath it. These x-rays are typically used to identify dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw. This is effective in identifying impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors or any changes in the bone related to oral diseases.

Finding Infection at the Root

X-rays are also used to find any infection that appears at the very bottom of the tooth where the jaw meets the base of the tooth. Before undergoing a root canal procedure your dentist will perform an x-ray to confirm the infection.


If you are considering undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces) your orthodontist will take a separate set of x-rays to identify where your teeth need to shift. Orthodontic treatment is used to improve the aesthetic and functional uses for your smile.

For more information about X-rays ask your dentist during your next appointment.

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