A dental examination allows the dentist to check all soft and hard tissues to ensure there are no issues or abnormalities. Dental diseases often do not have symptoms until they are advanced. Regularly attending the dentist allows the dentist to catch problems before they can become major issues that may not be fixable.
Radiographs are an excellent adjunct to visual examination and ensure a full and comprehensive check is undertaken. There are various types of x-rays - routine annual bite-wings are designed to check in between the teeth to look for new decay and assess the quality and health of existing restorations.
Other types included periapical radiographs that allow assessment of bone health and nerve health around the tooth. Another common radiograph is an OPG/panoramic radiograph - this is a screening radiograph that shows both the upper and lower jaw, jaw joint, sinus space and roots and restorations in all teeth.