X-rays are needed to detect decay in areas that cannot be visualized. X-rays are also used to detect bone loss, infections, cysts, and tumors.
In addition to X-rays, a dental exam is the only way to determine if you have dental problems such as cavities, defective fillings, cracked teeth, or oral cancer. Although hygienists are highly qualified, they are not trained to diagnose these issues.
Dental disease usually worsens with time and may be extensive when finally detected. Without a dental exam and X-rays there is no way to tell if you have some of these severe dental concerns. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to receive a dental exam and x-rays at your upcoming appointment.