Can dental x-rays miss a dental abscess that's causing pain?

Yes. Yes, a dental abscess can be missed on the dental xray. Sometimes the abscess may be too small to show up. The abscess could also be obscured by other bony anatomy of the skull. Or the angulation of the xray could be such that the abscess does not show up clearly. The dentist should be able to determine whether you have an abscess by a combination of your symptoms and xrays.
Yes, it's possible. Many times xrays cannot detect early forming abcesses. However, they will eventually be visible. Pain may not be due to an abcess, but a fracture or hidden decay under an old silver filling. Best to see your dentist to reevaluate your problem.
Yes. An x-ray doesn't actually show the abscess. (x-rays show hard tissue structures. An abscess is soft tissue) the x-ray shows the bone loss resulting from the abscess in an area and a certain % of bone has to be compromised before it will show up.
Dental abscess. Yes. In the early stages, dental abscesses can be missed on xray. Often we treat with antibiotics just in case and repeat the xray in a few weeks.

Related Questions

Can dental x-rays miss detecting a dental abscess?

Yes. An early dental abscess may not show up on dental x-rays until there is enough bony erosion from the infection generally in 1-2 weeks. Read more...
Yes. Many dental infections are diagnosed by x-rays due to the changes in the surrounding bone.The soft tissue of a tooth must be diseased prior to a abscess. In early stages there is often no detectable changes in the bone. Read more...
Yes. When there is an abscess in the bone, then it appears in the x-ray by the pattern of bone destruction. If an abscess is small, or limited to soft tissue, then it will not be evident on an x-ray. Additionally, an x-ray is a 2-dimensional view of a 3-d environment - if the abscess is superimposed by another structure in the image, then the abscess may not be evident in the x-ray. Read more...