Many times dentists will offer free x-rays when you schedule an in-office treatment. Why would they do that? Dentists desire to provide patients the best possible care and a simple visual exam can’t always tell them everything they need. However, x-rays can help dentists diagnose and ultimately treat dental problems early on before they ever become a more serious issue. He can often tell a lot more about what is going on in your mouth by taking x-rays.
Two Reasons Free X-rays are Included
There are two good reasons behind a dentist who offers free x-rays. One reason may be because they can more easily come up with an accurate diagnosis and ensure proper treatment. Another reason is an x-ray gives them a lot better idea of what is going on in a patient’s mouth so they can provide better care.
X-rays are a Valuable Tool for Making Diagnoses
X-rays allow the dentist to see inside the teeth; but he can also see the tip of the roots and even the bones beneath the gums. These places are not visible to the eye. The dentist can use x-rays to rule out dental diseases and they can be useful for diagnosing specific dental problems that a patient may be experiencing.
X-rays are commonly used to find cavities or evaluate how severe the cavities have become. And since the x-ray reveals the root of a tooth, dentists may discover abscesses, masses or cysts that might not otherwise be discovered. Missing or impacted teeth like wisdom teeth are many times found this way. Bone loss that is a result of gum disease is also sometimes discovered by taking x-rays.
How Often will Dentists Take X-rays
Each dentist may have a different idea about how often they want to take x-rays. And each person has various health needs. For this reason, he may suggest x-rays at least once a year, but the frequency will depend on his evaluation of your dental health needs. A dentist may suggest a full serious of x-rays including a panoramic image in order to discover a base line for a new patient. Once they establish a base line, they can use it to create a treatment plan. As a patient continues regular dental care, the dentist may require fewer x-rays and only recommend them for monitoring oral health status.
Why the Dentist Uses Different Types of X-rays
There are three common types of x-rays used by dentists: bitewing, panoramic and periapical. For a routine exam, the dentist will usually take a few bitewing x-rays which shows them the crowns of your teeth. This shows them if there is any signs of decay between your teeth. For viewing the bone height and root tips, he may use a periapical x-ray. And to see images of all the teeth, the upper and lower jawbones and the sinus area he may use a panoramic x-ray. This helps him diagnose impactions, tumors, bone irregularities, cysts, and jaw disorders.
Dentists many times offer free x-rays for patients as part of an initial exam since they are an integral part of the treatment plan.