Why X-Rays Are Necessary For Dealing With Cavities

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If you're visiting the dentist for the first time in a long time, it's common for a dental hygienist to take X-rays of your mouth. There might be a part of you that isn't keen on this idea, given that it will increase the cost of the appointment and you may also feel uneasy about the exposure to radiation. It's important to note that many dental clinics use digital X-rays that produce far less radiation but, even more important, is the fact that X-rays are vitally important for allowing your dentist to assess your mouth. Inspecting for cavities, in particular, is much more effective with an X-ray.

Cavities Between Teeth 

A dentist can often identify a cavity on the face of a tooth just by looking at it, but not everyone develops cavities in areas that are plainly visible. It's relatively common to get cavities between two teeth, and such an issue can be nearly impossible for even an experienced dentist to identify. Having an X-ray allows the dentist to look at where your teeth meet each other to determine whether a cavity might be present. Without an X-ray, there's a chance that the cavity would be missed, which could lead to further problems.

Cavities Under Fillings

If you have old dental fillings, it's possible for cavities to develop beneath them. This could be because your former dentist failed to get the entire cavity with the drill, or perhaps a small gap between the tooth and the cavity has occurred, leading to the growth of a cavity underneath a filling. Because these areas aren't visible during the dental examination, it would be very difficult for your dentist to detect a cavity. The use of an X-ray will allow him or her to notice these problems.

Cavities In The Early Stages

A cavity in a very early stage isn't always visible during the dental examination. However, it will often turn up on the X-ray. Upon noticing this verbal indicator when assessing your X-rays, the dentist can then investigate the tooth more in detail. He or she may deem that it's wise to fill this cavity now, but there's also a chance that the dentist will let the cavity be, compel you to clean the area thoroughly twice a day, and then reassess it during your next dental exam. Given the manner in which an X-ray can help, it's important for you to understand when taking an X-ray is necessary.