Periapical x-rays are an essential part of dentistry, giving dental professionals a clear image of the entire tooth. This is a crucial part of diagnosing oral health conditions that cannot be found with a standard x-ray. Periapical x-rays allow you to see from the exposed crown to the end of the root, potentially finding a complication that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Early tooth decay does not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but our dental team will be able to see from an x-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel, any possible infections in the root, or any bone loss around the tooth. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save both time and money.
How does it work?
If you are a new patient, unless you have had dental x-rays very recently, the dental team will probably suggest having x-rays. This helps them assess the condition of your mouth and to check for any hidden problems. After that, x-rays may be recommended every 6 to 24 months depending on the person, their history of decay, their age and the condition of their mouth.
X-rays can show decay that may not be seen directly in the mouth: for example, under a filling, or between the teeth. They can show whether you have an infection in the root of your tooth and how severe the infection is.
In children an x-ray can show any teeth that haven’t come through yet, and show the dental team whether there is enough space for the teeth to come through. In adults, it can show any impacted wisdom teeth that may need to be removed, before they cause any problems.