A visual exam without x-rays is like a movie without sound – it only gives you half the story. Without periodic x-rays, we might be missing a problem not visible to the naked eye, such as one in-between your teeth or down in the bone. With an x-ray, we can see areas of decay between teeth or under existing fillings, find evidence of bone loss or changes in the jaw from infection, or determine the health of primary and permanent teeth in children. Once we discover problems, we can work to resolve them that much more quickly.
X-rays also help us to create dentures, crowns, braces, and implants. With x-rays, we can also find developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and certain types of tumors. X-rays also reveal abscesses, which if left untreated can be life-threatening. In our younger patients, we use x-rays to make sure primary teeth come out in time to make room for permanent teeth and to see if wisdom teeth are developing or impacted.
At Pinnacle Dental, we use all-digital x-rays, which greatly reduce the amount of radiation, and we only take radiographs that are absolutely necessary to limit your exposure. Digital x-rays can be magnified, sharpened, or colorized so we can make a more precise diagnosis. They can be stored on a computer for future reference and allow us to note changes over time such as tooth movement, bone loss or growth, or changes in fillings and root canals. One immense benefit of digital x-rays is time. We can now take x-rays and get the pictures within minutes instead of waiting for days for the film to be developed, which shortens the length of time between diagnosis and treatment.