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10/20/2023

Cavities, Infections, Gum Disease: The Most Common Problems Dental X-rays Can Detect

A dental X-ray is a crucial procedure to take a close look at a patient’s oral hygiene. Dentists use radiographs to discover critical issues that would otherwise go unnoticed in a regular examination.  For the patient’s benefit, a simple X-ray can detect and prevent problems at an early stage, thus saving them a lot of money and discomfort in the future.  But when is a dental X-ray needed, and what issues do they show?   What can X rays detect? Do dental X rays show infections? Can an X ray show a cavity under a crown? In this blog, we’ll answer some of the most common dental queries from patients.  Read on for all you need to know.

What Do Dental X Rays Show?

Dental X-rays provide dentists with a relatively detailed internal view of every single tooth and the structure of the jaw. The radiograph will show potential issues emerging in each patient and the status of the oral problems being treated. Apart from your teeth, a dental X-ray provides accurate imaging of nerves, bones, sinuses, and roots. Giving the dentist this “big picture” will help them identify and treat conditions much more quickly and with more accuracy. So, what do teeth X rays show that aren’t visible during a standard oral examination?
  • Decay in between teeth
  • Cavities hidden under fillings
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Bone loss caused by gum disease
  • Infections at the root of a tooth
  • Abscesses
  • Certain types of oral cancers
  • An oral X-ray can also help a dentist determine if you are eligible for dental implants, braces, or dentures.

    What Can X rays Detect in Children?

    Dental X-rays are routinely used to detect potential issues that children may face, such as:
  • Seeing if there is enough space for all permanent teeth to grow out
  • Determining that all wisdom teeth are present and growing correctly
  • Emerging developmental problems, such as a tumor or cyst
  • There is no need for parents to worry about the procedure, as the risks associated with dental X-rays are very low. The radiation levels are comparable to those emitted by household items like smartphones and computers.  There is one exception to this, however. A dental X-ray isn’t necessarily recommended for pregnant women. While the radiation emitted by this type of diagnostic procedure hasn’t been shown to cause any severe issues, dentists simply avoid it unless it is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, newer digital imaging technology is helping fix this issue. Instead of transmitting X-rays into a dark room, the images are sent directly to a computer. This technology uses significantly less radiation, making the process even safer than it was before.  Many dental treatments in Los Angeles use this technology, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your child in to check for cavities in teeth x ray.

    Can You See Cavities on X ray?

    One of the most common questions patients ask is: can an X ray show a cavity under a crown? The answer depends on the extent of the cavity.  Cavities trapped under the gumline are much harder to see during an oral examination. If the cavity is large enough, it’ll appear on the x-ray around the crown. Once the patient begins to feel pain because of the cavity, the problem becomes much more urgent.  During a regular check-up, a dentist can quickly detect decay with an X-ray and oral examination. Cavities in teeth X rays are visible as dark areas around the tooth enamel. If left untreated, they can lead to much more painful and severe conditions, such as nerve infections. At that point, you may need an incredibly uncomfortable and expensive root canal treatment.  Finding cavities in teeth X rays at an early stage is possible and certainly preferable to the alternative.

    How Often Should You Get a Dental X-Ray?

    Now that we’ve answered the question, what do dental X rays show, how often should you get a dental X-ray?  The answer depends on a few factors:
  • The symptoms you are experiencing
  • Your age
  • Your predisposition for oral health issues
  • If you have generally healthy teeth and gums, you may need an X-ray only once every 12-18 months. If you’re in pain and wondering, do dental X rays show infections? You may need to undergo the procedure right away to detect dcavities in teeth X rays. Children may need more frequent visits, as dental radiographs can track the growth of new teeth.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What can X rays detect?

    A dental X-ray can confirm several oral issues that can’t be detected during a regular exam, from abnormal growth to certain cancers. Cavities in teeth X rays are some of the most common issues dentists look out for in patients of all ages.

    Can X ray show infection in tooth?

    Yes, an X-ray can detect infections in a tooth. The radiation emitted by the X-ray is great for capturing images of the teeth and gums, thus identifying dental issues. Infections must be dealt with early to prevent pain and severe complications.

    Can an X ray show a cavity under a crown?

    The simple answer is: it depends. Detecting cavities in teeth through X-rays is one of the primary reasons for this procedure. Depending on the extent and location of the cavity, particularly around or under a crown, sometimes they can be challenging to detect with a regular oral examination or dental X-rays alone. Therefore, a combination of dental X-rays and a clinical examination is crucial for accurate cavity detection. If left untreated, cavities can lead to severe infections.

    The Bottom Line: Fix Your Smile At Valley Dental Spa

    Dentist visits aren’t the most fun activity for anyone. But regularly getting X-rays of your teeth and jaw is one of the best ways to prevent serious dental problems in the future. Valley Dental Spa is one of the most trusted dental clinics in Los Angeles, offering a comprehensive range of dental treatments designed to meet oral health needs. Our team of professionals is committed to ensuring every visit goes smoothly, and we detect issues that are only beginning to surface.

    For any questions about what can X rays detect or how to proceed once you’ve found cavities in teeth X rays, contact Valley Dental Spa today.

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