Michael Smith DMD, LLC
Dentist in Belleville, IL

How important are dental x-rays?

Dentists can’t treat what they can’t see, and many dental problems develop inside teeth or under the gums—areas that we can’t detect with a visual exam alone. For this reason, digital dental x-rays are essential for accurately diagnosing these conditions and providing the most appropriate treatment.

When we take digital x-rays, we are looking for:

  • Cavities between teeth
  • Decay under existing fillings
  • Bone loss related to gum disease
  • Root canal infections or abscesses
  • Abnormal growths including tumors or cysts

Your x-rays help us detect these conditions and also assist us in planning root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implant placement.

Bitewing x-rays that show us the crowns of molars and premolars help aid in the early diagnosis of decay and gum disease. If you have a healthy smile and no history of dental problems, we may only take x-rays every two or three years.

For patients with ongoing issues like gum disease or a history of poor oral health, our dentists might recommend them every year. We would also recommend a set of bitewings to establish a baseline if you are a new patient who doesn’t have current x-rays.

Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we use digital x-rays that emit about 80 percent less radiation than film-type x-rays. You can be confident that we never take unnecessary x-rays and will always explain why we recommend one and what we hope to learn from it.

Please call our dental office in Bellevue if you are ready to schedule your next dental checkup.

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