X-Ray Pictures Are Fantastic But Have Limitations - By Dr. George Meining, D.D.S.,
Cheekbones, narrowness of jaws, the position of teeth and the formation of the hard palate make the taking of accurate x-ray pictures a challenge.
For these reasons x-ray pictures of teeth and jaws quite often fail to disclose the presence of infection or what kind of treatment might be required, contrary to generally accepted views of most dentists and patients.
Cracks in teeth are almost never visible on x-ray pictures.
The extent of bone loss around a tooth, though felt to indicate the severity of its infection, does not do so. Doctors Basker and Stern, in separate studies, reported that 85 to 100 percent of dental granulomas and redicular cysts do not contain bacteria. This does not mean the tooth itself is not infected.
When the dentist removes or treats a tooth but the patients continues to have a toothache, it may seem the wrong tooth was removed. The pictures in this chapter show how a second tooth is often involved.
Because lateral canals can contain infection, dentists have been taught to advise root filled teeth be x-rayed each year or two.
None of this implies the use of x-ray pictures is to no avail.
Quite the contrary, good x-ray pictures often disclose disease conditions which should receive immediate attention if the patient's health is not to be jeopardized.
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