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Dental X-rays
in West Austin

Are Those X-rays Necessary?

One of the primary diagnostic tools used at Carr & Smith Dental is dental X-rays. While taking X-rays is the actual process utilized to obtain images of the teeth, the actual images are called radiographs.

A patient’s individual schedule for periodic radiographs depends on many factors, including age, prior history, and certain dental conditions. For those who can’t remember the last time they had X-rays taken, it’s probably time to give the office a call to determine whether they’re due (or long overdue!) for a new set.
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There is only so much of a patient’s teeth and gums that Dr. Smith can see through a visual examination. However, X-ray images can alert him to all types of conditions, such as tooth decay between teeth or under existing fillings, gum disease, bone infections, abscesses, problems with teeth formation, and even tumors.

When these types of problems can be identified in their early stages, a patient can be saved from pain, discomfort, money, and extended care in the office. Discovering serious conditions, such as tumors, may very well save a patient’s life, so the small amount of radiation that they are exposed to during the X-ray process is minimal when compared to the benefits of having them taken!

There are a number of traditional dental X-rays that are taken inside the mouth. They include:

  • Bitewing X-rays – generally taken during all first visits and periodically afterwards. They are useful for identifying cavities between teeth and show the area of the top and bottom teeth, from the crown (tooth surface above the gum) to the jaw.
  • Periapical X-rays – show the entire tooth, including the root and bone, to assess whether an abscess, impacted tooth, or bone damage from gum disease is present.
  • Occlusal X-rays – show the floor and roof of the mouth and are taken from a position of looking down from the nose or up from the chin. They are used to locate additional teeth or teeth that have not yet erupted, abscesses, jaw fractures, or various types of growths, such as cysts.

What Do Radiographs Mean to Patients?

Radiographs serve as the starting point for a detailed dental treatment plan to address any of the issues indicated by the radiographs. They are an important diagnostic tool designed to identify conditions that, if left untreated, can cause a great deal of pain and money—neither of which is pleasant!

Make an Appointment Today

It’s recommend that patients call the practice to determine whether it is time to schedule a routine dental care visit, which would include any necessary X-rays. At Carr & Smith Dental, our patients’ dental health is paramount.


Dental X-rays West Austin, Northwest Hills, 78731 TX | (512) 345-0399 | (512) 345-0399