X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventative, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem. An x-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue. Teeth and bone are very dense, so they absorb X-rays, while X-rays pass more easily through gums and cheeks.
Intraoral (inside the mouth) X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These X-rays allow dentists to:
Find cavities (tooth decay)
Look at the tooth roots
Check the health of the bony area around the tooth
Determine if periodontal disease is an oral care issue
See the status of developing teeth
Otherwise, monitor good tooth health through prevention