Reasons an X-ray is Sometimes Included in a Teeth Cleaning

Dental Cleaning and Examinations Greensboro, NC

You may be wondering why an x-ray may be necessary during a teeth cleaning appointment with the dentist. The truth is, x-rays allow dentists to look beyond the surface and see what is invisible to the naked eyes. This article covers the importance of x-rays and other important points that are worth knowing.

Going beyond the surface

X-rays involve taking images with high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Soft, low-density tissues such as the skin and organs do not absorb the radiation, so it passes through them. The denser and hard materials in the body, including the bone and teeth, can absorb the radiation. With special films or digital sensors, it is possible to measure the absorption and turn it into an image.

This is the essence of dental x-rays. It allows the dentist to see beyond the tissues to the oral cavity, such as the gums to the deeper parts of the teeth and jawbone. This allows the dentist to discover indications of oral health issues that may not be obvious during a visual examination and plan treatment accordingly.

The type of x-ray taken by the dentist during the appointment depends on the nature of the visit. X-rays can be therapeutic and diagnostic. During a routine teeth cleaning and checkup appointment, therapeutic x-rays are usually used. The purpose of the x-ray is to give the dentist a holistic view of the teeth and supporting structures, which enables them to check for possible signs of oral health problems that may necessitate further evaluation.

Many dental offices take panoramic x-rays with digital radiography, which provides the dental professional with a full overview of the teeth. Some offices may use multiple bitewing x-rays, which provides an image of different parts of the teeth.

Diagnostic x-rays are somewhat different. They are usually necessary when planning an extensive dental procedure. For instance, if the patient is undergoing a root canal, the dentist may take a “periapical” diagnostic x-ray. This x-ray is designed specifically to obtain a detailed image of the entire tooth, right from the crown to the root.

The frequency of x-rays during appointments

Before now, dentists typically recommended x-rays every year. However, the American Dental Association recommends that healthy adults with no serious oral condition only need to get x-rays every 2 to 3 years. This means that if the teeth are healthy and free of issues such as cavities or gum disease, the dentist will only need to take x-rays once in a while. However, if they discover evidence of oral health problems, they may need to take an x-ray of the oral cavity during a teeth cleaning appointment.

In conclusion

When overdue for a dental cleaning and checkup, individuals should book an appointment with the general dentist as soon as possible. With teeth cleaning, you can stay on top of your dental health and maintain healthy gums and teeth. If the dentist thinks taking an x-ray is in order, they will explain the reason behind their decision.

Request an appointment here: or call J David Civils DDS at (336) 387-7944 for an appointment in our Greensboro office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Cleaning and Examinations in Greensboro, NC.

Recent Posts

4 Types Of Teeth Cleanings

Receiving a teeth cleaning can be a great way to ensure teeth stay healthy and there are not any serious oral health concerns that develop with the teeth and the supporting structures. By having a full understanding of what each teeth cleaning type does and is used for, you can gain a better understanding of…

Why You Need A Dental Cleaning In Greensboro

If it has been a while since you had a dental cleaning, we recommend that you give us a call and schedule an appointment right away.  It is important to keep your teeth and gums in excellent health, both for your mouth and for the rest of your body. As a dentist, we understand that…

What Happens During Your Teeth Cleaning Appointment

Scheduling a teeth cleaning is one of the most essential steps you can take to make sure you do not have gum or periodontal disease. We find that people who do not regularly engage in having their teeth cleaned are more at risk for getting these kinds of conditions. If you have not had a regular…

What A Dental Check-Up Can Reveal

A dental checkup is crucial for maintaining excellent oral health. The general dentist can discover many oral health conditions and cosmetic defects during a routine visit. Dental professionals typically recommend patients visit the dental office for a checkup once every six months.Knowing the possible conditions a dentist can discover during routine maintenance can help patients…

Recent Posts

How Dentures Compare To Other Replacement Options

How Dentures Compare To Other Replacement Options

When it comes to replacing lost teeth, several options are available, including dentures. Replacing missing teeth can help to enhance your smile and prevent dental problems. If you are looking for the ideal solution for lost teeth, it is essential to know the different treatment options. You should consult your general dentist to determine the…

Ways That Clear Braces Differ From Traditional Ones

4 Ways That Clear Braces Differ From Traditional Ones

Are you considering clear braces for straightening your teeth? When it comes to getting straight teeth that are either gapped or crooked, there are two main ways that someone can do that nowadays. Both options are outstanding in the results that they provide, and sometimes it will come down to the severity of the crookedness…