Necessity of Full-Mouth X-Rays: General Dentistry in Palm Desert
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General Dentistry Palm Desert, CA

In general dentistry, your dentist has many responsibilities for your oral health. You should visit the dentist every six months to maintain strong teeth and gums. Patients who consistently make and keep appointments are more likely to enjoy an attractive smile and avoid issues such as cavities and gum disease. Not only are these checkups a good chance to clean your teeth, but the dental staff can identify concerns and develop treatment plans. The hygienist will also take X-rays of the teeth at wellness appointments to diagnose conditions and spot problems before they get worse.

What happens at general dentistry checkups?

When the patient comes to the dental office for checkups, the staff will begin by taking X-rays. The dentist will review these while the hygienist begins with teeth cleaning and polishing. The hygienist may also floss the patient’s teeth and scrape off plaque and tartar. The dentist will examine the patient’s teeth and will inform the person of any issues the X-rays or exam revealed. Depending on the results, a follow-up appointment may be required. The dentist may also provide instruction on how to brush or floss more effectively.

The X-ray process

When the hygienist prepares to take pictures of the patient’s mouth, the person will be covered for protection. The hygienist places a plastic device inside the patient’s mouth, and the person bites down. The staff member takes the pictures, which will not cause any discomfort or pain for the patient. The hygienist will take several images, so the dentist has a view of the entire mouth and all of the person’s teeth.

The purpose

In general dentistry, the dentist wants to both diagnose problems and help the person maintain good oral health. X-rays can accomplish both of these. The pictures show the teeth, roots, gums and bones in detail. The X-rays allow the dentist to find problems that an examination with the naked eye may not be able to see. X-rays can detect cavities, gum disease, infections in the roots and problems with emerging teeth. These pictures let the dentist provide the most effective care possible for patients of all ages.


Many dentists will take X-rays at every wellness appointment. This means the patient will have the pictures every six months. Every patient has different needs, so some may not need this service as often. The dentist will determine how often to take X-rays. Patients who have concerns about this diagnostic procedure should express these feelings with the dentist.

Valuable process

You cannot expect your dentist to see every problem with your teeth with dental tools and an examination alone. X-rays are an important component of every wellness checkup. Every patient should have these pictures regularly so the dentist can spot cavities and other problems. Talk to your dentist about how often you should have this procedure. Then, schedule an appointment today so you can take control of your oral health. Your teeth and gums deserve good treatment. Help them look and feel the way you want.

Request an appointment here: or call Portola Dental Group at (760) 201-4085 for an appointment in our Palm Desert office.

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