Serving areas of Bellevue, Newcastle, and Medina WA
Whether you see your Bellevue family dentist for routine cleanings every six months or a once in a while emergency dental visit, at some point, you will be asked to get X-rays. Despite what some folks assume, recommending dental X-rays isn’t a gimmick for your dentist to make money. Dentists recommend X-rays for good reasons. Today on our newest blog, we are discussing four situations when dental X-rays may be necessary.
To establish a baseline of your oral health
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or you’re visiting a general dentist in Newcastle for the first time, you probably will need X-rays to establish a baseline of your oral health. If you recently had X-rays taken at a previous dental office, we gladly accept those, but please understand that we may still need additional X-rays to ensure we have what we need to provide you with the best treatment. Dental X-rays can be viewed at subsequent appointments to see if there have been any changes in your oral health. Usually, X-rays are recommended once a year, or at every other cleaning appointment, unless you experience dental pain or notice something unusual going on with your oral health.
To detect cavities between your teeth
Cavities start off small and gradually become larger, if not treated. If you follow through with your six-month cleanings and checkups, cavities can be caught early, which means saving more of your natural tooth structure when placing a filling. But, cavities don’t always form in areas that your dentist can see. Sometimes tooth decay develops between teeth or under existing dental restorations (like crowns, fillings, and dental bridges). Dental X-rays reveal cavities that may develop in these hidden areas.
To develop a complex treatment plan
Certain treatment plans, such as ones that involve numerous extractions, dental implants, extensive cosmetic dental treatments or orthodontics, may require dental X-rays. Complex treatment plans usually require X-rays so that the dentist can get a whole picture of your oral health. Also, dental insurance companies may require a pre-treatment estimate for complex cases. Failure to obtain this estimate beforehand could mean that your dental insurance benefits do not cover any portion of your treatment.
To identify abnormalities or masses
Your dentist can only see so much with their eyes. However, X-rays provide an in-depth look under the gums, between teeth, and at your jaw and facial structure. Oral cancer and tumors sometimes develop in these otherwise unseen areas of the mouth, which is why X-rays are essential to discovering masses or other abnormalities.
The dentist may also recommend X-rays if a patient is receiving extensive dental work, has gum disease, impacted teeth, or a potential abscess. Otherwise, if your oral health is on par, X-rays are usually only needed once a year.
As you can see, dental X-rays aren’t a ruse. They provide valuable information to your dentist for diagnostic purposes, and for devising the most effective treatment plan. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment with Spektor Dental, please call (425) 454-1322. We offer general and cosmetic dental services to the areas of Bellevue, Medina and Newcastle.