Tigard Dentist: Why Do Dentists Take X-Rays?

Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica, is frequently asked;  “Why do dentists take x-rays?”.  If you have been to the dentist then you know one of the first things that they do is take x-rays.  Sometimes it is just one and other times it might be several.  Most people think that x-rays simply show the dentist where the cavity is or where the pain might be coming from, but what people don’t understand is they show us much more than that.  So, let Tigard Dentist Dr. Marostica explain 5 reasons dentists take x-rays.Reasons why dentists take x-rays

1.  Look for cavitiest between teeth. Sometimes cavities are not visible to the naked eye or exist in areas where the dentist can’t see them. It is exactly for this reason that dentists take x-rays.  Just like Superman could see through walls or buildings, x-rays help the dentist see through the teeth.

2.  Check for bone loss associated with gum disease.  Gum disease or Periodontal Disease can cause severe bone loss and x-rays can show the extent of the bone loss.  If left untreated gum disease will cause teeth to loosen and evenutally be lost.  When detected early and treated properly gums disease can be controlled.

3. Check for decay under fillings.  Teeth should be x-rayed once a year especially if you have many old fillings. This will allow the dentist to find decay or cavities under fillings before they get too big.  Early intervention and prevention will reduce the risk of tooth fracture, root canals, toothaches or even the loss of teeth.

4.  Look for infections at the root tips of teeth.  Many people don’t realize that infected teeth might not have any symptoms, but using x-rays a dentist can confirm a tooth infection by looking at the roots.  If an infection is found at the tips of the tooth root this can be or can lead to a very serious problem.  If left untreated the infection can and will destroy the surrounding bone which can be painful and lead to the eventual lose of the tooth.

5.  Examine the area before procedures.  Dentists need a full view of the teeth and bone before certain procedures are started such as dental implants, extractions, root canals, and braces.  When a the dentist has a full view of all areas they have confidence that the treatment they will provide will successful.

As you can see there are many reasons for dentists to take x-rays.  No one likes to take more x-rays then are necessary, so make sure you know what x-rays are required, when they are required, and how often they are required.  If you don’t know ask your dentist, who should be able to provide you with the answers.

TenderCare Dental in Tigard and in most of our other locations use digital x-rays which allows us to use less radiation in order to view a tooth or area.  It is also a quicker and more comfortable experience for our patients.  If you or someone you know needs to see a Tigard Dentist call 503-670-7088 or visit us at