Only 10% of all American adults have never had a cavity and have no sign of gum disease. If you are one of those lucky Americans, you may feel there's no reason for you to get x-rays on your teeth. However, the American Dental Association recommends you get x-rays at least every year to help maintain good oral health. If you have great teeth, why are x-rays so important? We have some answers for you.
X-rays were developed by a scientist in Bavaria who accidentally discovered them while studying cathode ray tubes. While Roetgen did not think his discovery amounted to much, doctors and scientists were fascinated by the look of the human bones that they had been unable to see previously.
While doctors first used x-rays, dentists quickly adopted them as well because they wanted to see inside the mouth to look at the underlying structures they could not see with their eyes. Dentists became a widely-established practice by the 1950s.
Why X-Rays Are Important
Dentists use x-rays for patients in good dental health as well as those patients in poor dental health. When a dentist looks at x-rays, there are several things they need to look at.
First, a dentist will look at how your teeth look in x-rays. Are their root systems healthy? Are there any teeth that are impacted, which means they haven't broken through the gumline yet? Are there extra teeth in your mouth, or are you missing teeth? Believe it or not, not all adults have the same amount of teeth. The average number of teeth in an adult is 32, but it isn't unusual for adults to have more teeth or fewer teeth.
X-rays can also detect any abnormalities in your teeth or jaw, which is very important for a dentist to determine a treatment plan for you. So when it's time for your x-rays, just smile.
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