Why Is an X-ray Sometimes Included in a Teeth Cleaning?

Teeth Cleaning Bowie, MD

A professional teeth cleaning is a necessary part of general dentistry care, but there are other important components, such as X-rays and examinations. X-rays are essential for a number of reasons, although they are not required nearly as often as routine teeth cleanings. Keep reading to find out more about the importance of X-rays. 

X-rays during a teeth cleaning

Below is an explanation of X-rays and why they may be included during a general dentistry teeth cleaning appointment.

The purpose

Most teeth cleaning appointments also include an examination, fluoride application and sometimes, X-rays. Dental X-rays may be needed because they allow the general dentist to see the teeth, the roots and the rest of the oral cavity from a different perspective. This is necessary to ensure that oral health is in good shape, which includes the gums, jawbone and teeth. 

Additionally, dental X-rays help identify problems that are deeper than the eye can see when just looking inside the mouth. If these problems are caught early o,n then it is more likely that the outcome will be positive. Outlined below are a few things that X-rays can detect during a teeth cleaning appointment.

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Changes or shifting in the jawbone 
  • Abscesses 
  • Oral cancer
  • Cysts

X-rays are seen as controversial by some due to the waves of energy that are released; however, when taken rarely and quickly, individuals can rest assured that they are safe. Without dental X-rays, many oral conditions can get missed, which can result in damage to the oral cavity and even the entire body. 

How often are X-rays taken?

X-rays are typically taken once a year or every 12 months. General dentists recommend them on a routine basis, which is why they often get combined with a teeth cleaning appointment. However, if there is a concern of an oral condition, then additional X-rays may be required more than every 12 months. 

Other things to note

X-rays are a simple part of a teeth cleaning appointment. Individuals requiring X-rays need not feel anxious, as the process takes less than 10 minutes and does not involve any pain. A protective jacket is given to protect against the energy waves put off by the machine. The general dentistry assistant will press a few buttons, and then the process will be complete!

Find out more about general dentistry teeth cleanings

When looking for more information on teeth cleanings and what they entail, it can be helpful to consult directly with a general dentist. Any questions or concerns can be addressed, and an evaluation can be done in order to determine whether X-rays are needed. Reach out today to learn more or to get started with an appointment. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.gatewaydental.org or call Gateway Dental Dr. William Swann DDS at (301) 485-7492 for an appointment in our Bowie office. 

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Cleaning in Bowie, MD.

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