Are dental x-rays necessary?

One of the most important tools at your dentist’s disposal is dental x-rays. But do you know why dental x-rays are important and why x-rays are used?

Why are dental x-rays necessary?

Dental x-rays are used to detect and diagnose cavities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Cavities progress at a slow rate and often start between teeth where dentists cannot detect them with an oral examination. Dental x-rays aid your dentist in detecting these cavities when they are small and easily remedied with a filling.

Also, dental x-rays aid dentists in tracking the progression of tooth eruption in young children and determine when other actions, such as orthodontics, are necessary. A prime example of this is in the case of wisdom teeth which can cause improper alignment of your teeth and even pain if the wisdom tooth is impacted.

How often are dental x-rays performed?

Dental x-rays are performed at a new patient visit to establish knowledge of the patient’s overall oral health. After the initial visit, your dentist will suggest x-rays annually to continually follow up on your oral health.

Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth, which are actually your third molars, are the last teeth to emerge and are the farthest back in your mouth. Wisdom teeth are named for thought that a person reaches maturity between the ages of 17-25, which is when they usually erupt.

Wisdom teeth are removed for a number of reasons. These teeth often grow sideways in the bone, also known as impacted, causing pain, discomfort, and sometimes infection. Wisdom teeth are also very large and if left alone can cause misalignment of the other teeth. This is especially detrimental to a patient in orthodontics or who has previously had orthodontics as teeth can shift as wisdom teeth move or erupt. Wisdom teeth are also difficult to clean thoroughly even if there is enough room for them to full erupt. For this reason they are extracted to reduce the chance of complication in the future.

Wisdom teeth are usually removed by an oral surgeon who specializes in removing wisdom teeth. They can remove wisdom teeth with IV sedation that ensures the patient is comfortable for the entire process.


Bad Breath-What to do?

Halitosis or, as it is more commonly known, bad breath can effect one in four people. It is caused by a variety of factors, many of which can easily be treated.

Some factors that cause bad breath are gingivitis/gum disease, smoking, dry mouth, food debris, or diseases (such as diabetes). Poor oral hygiene is the common cause of bad breath and be easily treated. Brushing after each meal and before bed, flossing regularly to remove any food debris left behind by brushing, and visiting your dentist for dental checkups can eliminate bad breath. For smokers, quitting smoking will be a big step toward better health and improving bad breath.

Some patients develop bad breath due to some medications they take and medical conditions. It is best to talk with your dentist and doctor to find the solution for you.

Call Satterfield Family Dental today at (864) 574-0394 to schedule a dental checkup.

Which toothbrush is best for me?


There are several types of toothbrushes available today. Manual toothbrushes come in varying sizes, bristle types, and additional features. Electric toothbrushes are an alternative to manual toothbrushes and are available in variety of models as well.

How do I know which is best for me?

Manual toothbrushes are an inexpensive option for at home oral care. However, brushing technique needs to perfected for optimal oral health to be maintained. One caveat to manual brushing is that most patients brush harder in an attempt to remove food debris, which only leads to other dental concerns like sensitivity and recession. Electric toothbrushes are designed to “scrub” your teeth better and more efficiently than manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes allow patients to effectively clean their teeth without applying the extra pressure that can cause sensitivity and recession. Electric toothbrushes also allow patients being treated for periodontic disease and orthodontics to maintain a healthier mouth.

Contact Satterfield Family Dental at (864) 574-0394 for more information about the best option for you.