This article explains why X-ray is such an important tool for the preservation of good oral health.
You’ve heard it said before: prevention is better than cure! It’s also a whole lot less expensive and, for the most part, completely painless. When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, what does prevention involve? For one, it requires a meticulous home oral hygiene routine with regular and thorough brushing and flossing. It also requires regular scheduled visits with the Silver Spring dentist and oral hygienist. But one of the most important diagnostic tools needed to prevent severe conditions from claiming the lives of your teeth and the youthful beauty of your smile is X-ray!
About Dental X-Ray and Why it’s so Important
Right now, you may be imagining the dentist zapping tiny disease-causing pathogens in your mouth using some kind of futuristic X-ray gun. Well, the benefits of X-ray are a touch more intellectual than that. X-ray provides dentists with a clear picture of what’s going on underneath the gums. It allows dentists to view the jawbone, the roots of the teeth and the insides of the crowns without actually having to perform complex, invasive and painful surgery to do so. X-ray, in other words, is an indispensible diagnostic tool, without which dentists would be “flying blind.”
Imagine you have a toothache and you go to the Silver Spring dentist for a solution. He investigates the problematic tooth visually, but can’t seem to see anything obvious. The tooth looks fine on the outside and the gums underneath it appear healthy and pink. The dentist then takes an X-ray image of your jaw centered on the tooth that seems to be causing you all that pain and discomfort. Upon reviewing the pictures, the dentist spots the cause of all your trouble: a hairline fracture in the tooth root. Without even having to perform any surgery, the dentist has identified the problem and can now plan a very precise and effective solution.
Cone Beam CT Scans
X-ray saves patients thousands of dollars on needless and dangerous surgery by enabling dentists to identify problems and pinpoint treatment. Over the years, even this technology has been advanced, improved upon and refined. Cone Beam CT scans are an example of the more sophisticated machinery being used in dentist’s offices nowadays. CBCT scans take 3D X-ray images and feeds the data digitally into a computer imaging software program. This software allows dentists to manipulate a 3D view of a patient’s jaw and dentition. Treatment planning is done in detail prior to any surgery and, thanks to this technology, without the patient needing to be in the same room!
A Final Note on X-Ray Technology
Any dentist in Silver Spring MD will tell you that a comprehensive dental exam really isn’t complete without X-ray. Hidden problems, such as fractures, abscesses and endodontic infection can readily be identified and treated before any visible or obvious symptoms have begun to reveal themselves. This prevents the need for costly, invasive restorative procedures further down the line. And as we all know, prevention is better than cure!