X-rays (radiographs) are an essential part of diagnosis in dentistry. They allow us to see in spots where our eyes can’t reach. They show cavities between teeth and under old fillings that can be hard to detect with just a visual exam. They also can show bone loss, impacted wisdom teeth, infections, cysts, tumours, and even cancers. They help us to spot problems while they are still small so they can be treated before the problem gets too serious or starts causing pain.
On your initial visit to our office, we like to take a full series smaller x-rays (bitewings and periapical x-rays) to pinpoint specific problems in specific places. If you have had these x-rays taken in the last 2 years at another dental office, our receptionist can attempt to acquire them from your previous office. However, the dentist may still need to take additional x-rays if they need to see something specific or if the quality of the old x-rays is poor.
Panoramic x-rays are taken for all new patients and may be updated every 5 years. These x-rays aid in determining the formation of wisdom teeth, health of the TMJ (temperomandibular joint), and evidence of cysts, tumours or cancers. They are very important in the diagnosis of diseases, even on patients without any teeth at all!