518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
Call 09 834 6359

Dental x-rays are useful for identifying issues that might not be visible by examination alone.

If this is something you’re concerned about, then keep reading as we explain the reasons for a dental x-ray.

In most cases, they’re routine — so try not to be worried. You can find out more by reading our article, and consult your dentist if you have any specific questions.

1. Tooth decay

In many cases, tooth decay is visible when your dentist looks in your mouth. They might see a hole or crack in your tooth, a dark spot on your tooth or swollen gums.

Sometimes it’s not possible to detect tooth decay without the aid of an x-ray, which can reveal decay in hard-to-see areas like between the teeth. Once your dentist has identified tooth decay, they can give you a filling or suggest another treatment.

2. Gum disease

If your dentist suspects you have gum disease, they may take an x-ray to see whether it has progressed to the bone supporting your teeth or to know if there is any infection below the gumline.

It’s important for your dentist to have this information so they can treat your gum disease quickly. If caught in the early stages (gingivitis), it can be treated. But if it progresses to a later stage (periodontitis), it may lead to tooth loss.

3. Cracks in your teeth

If you’ve had an accident and think you may have cracked your tooth, an x-ray can be helpful in locating it.

Sometimes cracks are very fine and not easy to see with the naked eye, so an x-ray helps your dentist assess the damage and decide which treatment to offer you.

4. Unerupted teeth

Children develop at different rates — this includes the speed at which their permanent teeth come through.

If you’re worried about your child’s teeth, your dentist can use an x-ray to find out whether there are unerupted teeth and know whether to wait for them to come through or offer treatment.

5. Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars you get, usually between the ages of 17 to 20.

They can cause problems like gum soreness or crowding if there isn’t enough room for them to come through. If this is the case, your dentist can take a look with an x-ray to find out what’s going on and know whether wisdom teeth removal is an option.

6. Cysts

Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) can grow over an unerupted tooth. If you have symptoms like sensitivity, swelling or a bump over an unerupted tooth, then you may have a cyst.

Your dentist will need to treat the cyst, as it can lead to infections and even tooth loss. An x-ray can help detect even the smallest of cysts that aren’t obvious just by examining your mouth.

7. Infections

You may get an infection underneath your gumline for a variety of reasons — for example, as a result of gum disease.

An x-ray will tell your dentist what’s going on inside your gums and help them promptly give you the right treatment.

8. Cancer

While mouth cancer is rare, it’s important to know its symptoms. These include swelling or sores inside your mouth that won’t heal, a white or red patch inside your mouth and pain when chewing, swallowing or using your tongue.

If you have suspected mouth cancer, your dentist or other healthcare professional may use an x-ray to find out whether it has spread. This will help the professionals involved in your care find the best possible treatment for you.

Your local family dentist in Te Atatu

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why are dental x-rays necessary?” we hope you’ve found the answer in this article!

You should also know that Opal Dental offers a full range of dental services for all the family, from little ones right through to seniors.

As part of your care, you may be offered a dental x-ray from time to time — something we can arrange for you here at Opal Dental.

Our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you may have about your treatment, so don’t be afraid to ask. Call us today to arrange your next check-up at your local, welcoming dental clinic.

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