The Role of Dental X-Rays in Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Many of our patients ask about the role dental X-rays, also known as radiographs, play in dental diagnosis and treatment. Our dentists always tell them that when it comes to dentistry, there is more than meets the eye, so it’s essential to take a closer look at your teeth when diagnosing and planning treatment. 

Why are dental X-rays important? Let’s look at the role dental X-rays play in dental treatment and diagnosis at The Practice.

Identifying dental issues

One of the main reasons behind scheduling a dental X-ray is to identify potential dental issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye. They give our dentists a detailed account of what is beneath the surface, which can include cavities between teeth, infections in the jawbone, secondary teeth and impacted wisdom teeth. 

Managing oral health

As well as identifying potential issues, dental X-rays can help us keep track of your oral health. They can notify us of any changes in your condition, helping to detect issues early and provide treatment to prevent more serious problems. 

Treatment planning

Before we carry out any major dental treatment at our South Brisbane dental clinic, we want to ensure we have all the information to make an informed decision. By taking an X-ray we can create a customised and precise dental treatment plan that aligns perfectly with your unique oral health needs. 

Customised dental care

At The Practice, we understand each one of our patients is different. A dental X-ray will help us tailor our care to meet your specific needs, whether you’re young or old. We offer a variety of dental services at our West End dental clinic, including root canal treatment, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dental implants, dento-facial aesthetics and children’s dentistry

Types of dental X-rays

Different types of dental X-rays serve different purposes.

A Bitewing X-ray can be useful in detecting and confirming tooth decay and can also be used to find gum disease between the teeth. 

A Periapical Film, which is also known as a PA is a great X-ray for showing us the whole tooth, including the roots and surrounding bone. We use PA X-rays to examine the root tips of teeth, diagnose cysts and abscesses, diagnose bone loss caused by gum disease and to look for inflammation of the bone caused by root canal infections. 

When we want to see all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw together, we use an Orthopantomogram, also known as an OPG. This gives us a great view of the number, position and growth of all the teeth, even including the ones that are yet to erupt. This X-ray can also be used to reveal issues with the jawbone and joint that connects the jawbone to the head, otherwise known as the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ. OPGs are also good to have when we are planning orthodontic treatment, as it includes the wisdom teeth as well as the surrounding bone.   

A Lat Ceph X-ray provides a side view of the face and is used when planning orthodontic treatment. 

Finally, a Cone Beam CT, which is used when our dentists are assessing the jaw and teeth, and especially helpful when assessing for dental implants. A Cone Beam CT is a modern technique that provides three-dimensional imaging (like a standard CT scan – but lower radiation). At The Practice, we offer the most up to date 3D imaging services to ensure our patients are receiving the most innovative diagnostics available. 

Dental treatment at The Practice West End

Our Brisbane dentists understand the importance of dental X-rays. These diagnostic tools help in early detection, accurate treatment planning, and ensure we provide customised care, helping you achieve a healthier, brighter smile. 

So, the next time your dentist recommends an X-ray, you’ll understand it’s a valuable step towards achieving and maintaining excellent oral health. For more information, contact The Practice today, online or at 07 3733 3223. 

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