When You Need Dental Exam and X-Rays

Female dentist with x-ray pictureGetting regular dental exams and X-rays are important ways for you to protect your dental health. Most people should have their teeth checked about twice a year, but our dentist may recommend more or less frequent dental visits based on your individual needs. At routine checkups, we clean and check your teeth for cavities. We also perform a number of other routine checks, including:

• Reviewing your medical and dental history
• Reviewing any new medications or illnesses
• Screening your mouth for symptoms of oral cancer
• Evaluating your gums for symptoms of periodontal disease
• Checking all surfaces of your teeth to identify signs of tooth decay
• Examining all restorations for signs of wear or damage
• Removing plaque and tartar
• Polishing teeth
• Recommending changes or updates to your dental hygiene routine
• Reviewing any other dental care or treatment recommendations

If you smoke, have diabetes, are prone to cavities, or have certain other risk factors, we may recommend more frequent checkups. Most people will not need dental X-rays at every appointment, but they may be recommended about once a year. X-rays can also be necessary before certain procedures, such as root canals, extractions, and orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your dental exam in Agoura Hills.

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When You Need Dental Exam and X-Rays

Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?

Female dentist with x-ray pictureIf you are about to see a new dentist for the first time, they will likely want to take a few x-rays. This added task at your appointment may be an inconvenience to you, but having current dental x-rays done is actually very important for moderating your dental and oral health.

Not all problems can be detected by simply looking inside the mouth. Dental x-rays offer a closer, detailed perspective. They can be used for:

• Finding tooth decay
• Finding damage to the jawbone
• Checking orthodontic conditions
• Looking at broken teeth
• Checking for growths, cysts, and abscesses
• Seeing if any permanent teeth are being prevented from erupting
• Planning treatment, such as root canal therapy, inserting dental implants, or tooth extraction

There are several types of x-rays, using different materials to take them. Bite wing x-rays show the upper and lower back teeth, and should be taken by adults every two to three years. A periapical x-ray shows an entire tooth, from below the bottom of the root to the crown. These are typically used to find dental issues below the gum line. Panoramic x-rays show the structure of the entire bottom half of the face, and can show problems such as bone abnormalities, impacted teeth, and infections.

Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?