Dental x-rays (also called radiographs) are a valuable part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to teeth and gums not visible during a routine visual examination.
For example, x-rays can show the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal (gum) disease, cavities, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet fully developed. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. If you have a hidden tumor, x-rays may even help save your life.