Dr. Mark Bohnert, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana uses styrofoam (dentin) and tile (enamel) to visually demonstrate why your dentist takes x-rays of your teeth.

If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Why your dentist takes x-rays of your teeth (a visual explanation)


Hi, this is Dr. Mark Bohnert from Southeast Family Dental, and we’re going to discuss some of the reasons that we will take x-rays or radiographs of your teeth. On a previous segment we discussed my visual of a piece of tile being enamel and then the next layer, the dentin of the tooth, being my Styrofoam.

Now a lot of times when we take a radiograph or an x-ray, we’re trying to see through the enamel of the tooth down to the dentin layer of the tooth where the decay starts to spread more quickly. So what we will do is take an x-ray or radiograph on the side of the tooth that would show like this. So we have a layer of enamel on either side, and the middle layer is of dentin. So we’ll take that x-ray where we will not be able to see between the teeth, and that will show us that inner layer.

A lot of time what will happen is what you can visually see is the enamel is intact, but then maybe where someone doesn’t floss very well, we will have some areas of decay that starts between the teeth. When we take that x-ray, all of a sudden we can see on the radiograph or the x-ray some area of decay that has started.

If we can catch it at this stage, it’s pretty easy to take care of, and we can put a small filling in. As a matter of fact, if we catch it earlier than this, where it just maybe starts to show, there are some prescription strength fluoride toothpastes, that can be used, that will halt that early, what we call incipient decay.

So we have our reasons for flossing, and we have our reasons for taking the radiographs. We’ll discuss other reasons on another segment.

This is Dr. Mark Bohnert with Southeast Family Dental.