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Have You Ever Wondered Why Your Dentist Compares Your X-Rays Between Visits?

Posted on 5/10/2017 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
A patient being shown her dental x-ray.
X-rays are an important part of your oral health file at the dentist's office. They are a valuable piece of information that helps your dentist to detect damage under the gum line, and in other spaces that are not easily seen during your regular visit.

They can also be used to diagnose certain conditions or to help make treatment plans.

What are X-Rays Used For?

Dental X-rays can be used for a variety of reasons:

•  Checking for decay between teeth.
•  The condition of your jawbone.
•  Diagnosing abscesses, tumors or other issues.
•  Making treatment plans.

They are also used for the benefit of children's oral health, checking to make sure they have sufficient space for all of their teeth, checking for decay and making sure their teeth aren't impacted.

How Often Are You X-Rayed?

How often you receive X-rays depends upon your specific situation - your oral health history and your current condition. Generally, you have X-rays taken at your very first dental visit. Most people, so long as their mouths are healthy, won't have another X-ray for a couple of years. However, some people may have X-rays every 6 months.

Why Are X-Rays Compared?

If you have X-rays taken at each of your dental visits, you may be wondering why your dentist is taking the time to compare your new images to those from your last visit. The reason is simple. Your dentist is checking for changes.

If bone loss was noted in your previous X-ray, your dentist wants to make sure that it isn't getting worse. If you had a root canal, they are checking for any changes that may have occurred following the procedure.

If you have had implants, they are checking to see if the rods are fusing properly. Essentially, your dentist wants to check to make sure that no deterioration has occurred in your mouth since your last visit.

With a dental X-ray, your dentist can help you to have the best oral health possible. If you have any questions or concerns about X-rays, or what they show, don't be afraid to contact our office.


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