So what is the value of a radiograph (x-ray) anyway?

Allow me to explain. When patients come in for an exam, Dr. Griffith is evaluating what he can see with the naked eye. He is also using radiographs to see what could potentially be hiding underneath an old filling or crown, or even the root structure of a tooth within the bone. There are various types of radiographs we take to evaluate specific things. Here are a few examples:

  • Intra-oral periapical radiographs are used to see the entire root structure of the tooth, including the apex (end of the root). These are useful in identifying decay, resorption of internal root structure, and any indication of infection at the end of the root.
  • Bitewing radiographs are used to check between the teeth (where we floss) to check for decay and also to evaluate the bone levels, or the height of the bone, which may reveal boneloss indicating possible periodontal (gum) disease or vertical root fracture.
  • Panoramic radiograph is used (this is the one where you stand in the machine and the machine slowly rotates around your head) to evaluate for any type of pathology in your jaw. We can see your jaw joints, a portion of your sinuses, the trigeminal nerve (a very important nerve bundle we need to see in dentistry), and all your teeth.

Sometimes when there is something in question on a tooth, we may be required to take another radiograph at a different angle to further evaluate a tooth. An example would be below. These two images are the same tooth on the same day and they both look completely different. Angles.

So if you feel like you might be overdue for your exam or radiographs, please give us a call. Even if you are not certain of when your last exam with us. We can look it up and let you know if you are due.

Thank you to Tiffany, one of Dr. Bryan's assistants for this informative blog.

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