Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. An examination may reveal:
- Small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
- Infections in the bone
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Abscesses or cysts
- Developmental abnormalities
- Some types of tumors
X-rays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, X-rays may even help you save your life.