Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays and an Exam?

Why do I need x-rays and an exam

At CPW Dentistry, we schedule every new patient for a cleaning with a hygienist, a comprehensive exam with a dentist, and x-rays. At follow-up visits, we schedule a check-up exam every six months and appropriate x-rays regularly (usually once a year, but this depends on your unique needs). Why? As professionals invested in your oral health, we have an ethical obligation to provide a high level of preventative care only achieved through a combination of cleanings, exams, and x-rays. We take your wellness seriously! Insurance companies, professional associations, and state licensing boards all agree that regular exams and x-rays are a necessary part of care

In NY State, even the most skilled dental hygienists aren’t allowed to diagnose things like cavities during cleanings. So, if they notice something a bit off, like a cavity forming, they still need a licensed dentist to provide a periodic exam. It’s at that exam that we can make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

To do a careful, complete exam, a dentist needs to have recent x-rays. Without diagnostic tools like x-rays, our team can only see about a third of the entire structure of each tooth!  X-rays provide a lot of information critical to the identification and treatment of oral health problems. They are the only reliable way to view: your bones and roots, the areas between your teeth, and the space underneath existing fillings and crowns. We can’t examine those areas visually or even with our special dental instruments. In the early stages, dental problems don’t always cause symptoms that would signal trouble – but that’s exactly when issues are most easily treated – before you have symptoms.

If you have a set of x-rays from another practice taken within the last year, we can sometimes use those instead of taking new ones. We recommend you ask your previous provider to email them to you directly. That way, you have a copy for your records and can make sure they took care of your request. Then you can forward them to us before your visit. If we don’t have the x-rays, we’ll need to take new ones or reschedule your visit.

*The information contained in this post should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately licensed health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only and not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or dental condition.


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