Regular dental cleanings are a foundation of dental care. During these appointments, dentists check your dental X-rays as well. Even if you think there’s nothing wrong with your teeth, make sure to schedule this service biannually to prevent undiagnosed issues and possible long-term health consequences. The following guide will explain what you need to know about these two essential services.
Why Prioritize Dental X-Rays & Cleanings?
1. Deep Cleaning
No matter how well you brush, floss, and rinse at home, you can’t remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas. This includes along the rear gum line and between molars. The dentist and dental hygienist will address these during your routine cleaning with special tools. This goes a long way for preventing cavities, gum disease, other serious issues. The American Dental Association recommends seeing the dentist twice a year for these exams.
2. Finding Hard-to-See Issues
Not all oral health problems can be seen by the naked eye. Some cavities, bone diseases, tumors, and signs of gum disease are only visible through dental X-rays. Radiographs allow the dentist to diagnose these in the early stages, which makes treatment much easier.
3. Detecting Other Health Problems in the Body
Many health issues elsewhere in the body show symptoms in the mouth. Patients with undiagnosed diabetes may have advanced gingivitis or gum disease. Enamel erosion could signal acid reflux and digestive issues, while swollen gums could mean leukemia. The dentist will look for all of these to ensure all of your health needs are addressed.
4. Monitoring Development
X-rays also allow the dentist to see what’s going on below the gum line. In children, this means monitoring adult teeth development and progression. They can confirm if the teeth are in the proper position to avoid alignment issues. In teens and young adults, they can also see where wisdom teeth will erupt and recommend tooth extraction before they can create problems.
If you’re ready for a trip to the dentist, contact Darr Dentistry. This Thomasville, NC, practice has served patients of all ages since 1999. Led by Dr. Pamela Johnson-Darr, this dental team uses cutting-edge technology to handle existing health needs and provides cosmetic solutions. Visit their website for new patient information and call (336) 475-1614 to schedule a dental cleaning.