Just as with medical care, the field of dentistry has benefitted greatly from X-rays as a diagnostic tool. They can be helpful for a number of situations, such as dental implants, dentures, braces, root canal treatment, and other procedures. Also, X-rays are important when identifying the cause of symptoms like bleeding or pain. Dental X-rays provide advantages to patients of all ages.
Children and teenagers have unique dental needs that cause dentists to recommend the use of X-rays. They help determine the amount of space available in a child’s mouth to accommodate teeth as they develop and erupt. X-rays are extremely valuable in keeping track of wisdom teeth that might be impacted and causing problems with adjacent teeth. Dentists also may use X-rays to examine tooth decay that can’t be seen with a visual examination, especially between teeth.
Dental X-rays are often recommended for kids as they grow to watch the development of their teeth and jaws. Some dentists advise doing this yearly to prevent problems and predict treatment needs. Each child’s dentist will determine on a personalized basis whether an annual dental X-ray is advised for that child, since the requirements are dependent on things like the child’s health and past dental history.
Adults also benefit from the use of dental X-rays. Dentists use this tool to monitor bone loss in adult patients that could be related to age or gum disease. X-rays also identify damage or changes that may occur in the bone or tooth roots that are caused by infections. Adults with a history of oral health issues may be advised to have annual dental X-rays to closely monitor the problems. As with children, the dentist will be able to determine how often dental X-rays might be warranted in each individual adult patient to achieve optimum oral health.