Going to the dentist isn't any fun, but it is one of those things that just has to be done. For years, I fought the process and didn't go for my regular cleanings and in the end, it sure didn't pay to do so. I ended up spending ten times as much time in the chair and a boat-load of money in dental repairs. If you don't like going to the dentist, you can make it easier on yourself. This blog will show you a few tips that can help you improve the experience and get through the treatment without as much discomfort.
Brushing and flossing are important steps for a healthy, appealing smile, but visiting your dentist is also necessary to catch and repair issues affecting your oral health. During these basic exams, your dentist will most likely recommend x-rays in addition to a cleaning and physical examination. Of course, you may not understand why x-rays are needed if you are not necessarily dealing with any pain or discomfort. Here are a few reasons why your dentist will suggest x-rays during a basic exam.
Decay BETWEEN Teeth
Cavities form after food and bacteria seep into the tooth's surface after the protective coating of enamel breaks down. These cavities are easy to see because they affect the front of the teeth. Unfortunately, cavities can also form in less noticeable areas, causing decay between one or more teeth.
Known as interproximal cavities, this decay is actually more common than most people believe because the bristles of the toothbrush struggle to reach the food and bacteria in between each of your teeth.
Diagnosing this form of tooth decay requires a bite wing x-ray, which offers a deeper look compared to traditional radiographs.
If interproximal cavities are left untreated, they can spread, causing further decay of your teeth that may lead to gum disease and tooth loss. If the cavities are found, fillings should be placed immediately to reduce the risk of more serious dental complications.
If you have ever had a tooth extracted or lost due to an accident or injury, you may be surprised to learn you are suffering from bone loss in your jaw. On average, 25 percent of bone is lost within the first year after a tooth extraction. This bone loss may not seem like a big problem, but it can lead to pain and the loss of more teeth in the future.
A visual look at your jaw bone will not show evidence of bone loss, so your dentist will order a series of x-rays to determine if you are at risk. If the x-rays do lack of bone density, a grafting procedure can be done to strengthen the jaw bone to reduce the risk of dental issues.
Without a sufficient bone density, your jaw bone will not be able to support dentures or dental implants if you require them in the future.
You may believe x-rays are just an additional expense, but they are actually important tools in ruling out and preventing complications. This guide will help you learn a few common reasons behind x-rays.