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4 Things Your Dentist Can Find During Your X-rays


We know that our dentists regularly perform dental X-rays during typical appointments. But you may not know exactly why they perform them. The process might seem tedious to you, but it’s remarkably useful. Dentists are ranked within the top 10 most ethical professions in the United States, and they take their jobs very seriously, so let’s look into some of the things they can find through dental X-rays, and why they can’t skip them.

1. Abscesses or Cysts

One of the main reasons why these scans are performed is that they can identify abscesses or cysts. It’s actually fairly common for abscesses to form around the teeth, especially around wisdom teeth. As these teeth attempt to erupt and become impacted, abscesses can form. These abscesses are essentially full of infection, and if left unattended may actually lead to blood poisoning. It’s important that both abscesses and cysts are identified early by dentists and taken care of quickly.

2. Missing Teeth

The idea of finding something that is missing through an x-ray may be confusing. However, it’s actually quite important for dentists to run these scans when your baby teeth aren’t falling out on schedule. Sometimes, people are missing the adult teeth that they should have grown in. This means, their baby teeth will never fall out and may need to be adjusted or replaced with implants. This can only be verified through an x-ray.

3. Decay

While some decay is visible to the naked eye, other types of decay (particularly decay between the teeth) are not. It’s important for your dentist to identify decay in order to address it properly and prevent it from spreading.

4. Tumors

Occasionally, oral issues that don’t relate to the teeth themselves can be identified through these scans. For example, tumors in the mouth and jaw may be caught through a dental x-ray. Though not all of these tumors are cancerous (many are benign) it’s important that they are tested in order to ascertain the medical situation.

There are so many reasons why dentists practice these scans. But feel free to ask your dentist next time you’re asked to undergo an x-ray. They’ll be happy to answer!

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