How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays, also called radiographs, are an essential part of dental care. They are images of your teeth that the dentist uses to evaluate their patient's health. X-rays can be both preventative and diagnostic, they help identify tooth decay, impacted teeth and cavities. Dental x-rays might seem complex but they are just as common as teeth cleaning.
Who requires regular Dental X-rays?
Typically, dental x-rays are performed on a yearly basis but they can happen more often depending on a number of factors. Some people need a dental x-ray every six months while others without gum or dental disease will need an x-ray after a couple of years. New patients are required to get an x-ray to establish a baseline record to compare future x-rays with.
Below is a breakdown of different groups of individuals and how often they need a dental x-ray:
• Children and teenagers- children and pre-adolescents who are high risk of cavities should get an x-ray every half a year. Adolescents require x-rays to check the development of wisdom teeth, it is more frequent if they have a high risk of decay.
• Adults – individuals with crowns, fillings, or bridges require frequent x-rays to help find decay underneath the fillings and crowns.
• Smokers - since smoking increases the risk of bone loss and periodontal disease it is important to get dental x-rays often.
The importance of dental x-rays
Dental x-rays allow the dentist to view more than just the surface of the tooth including the roots. They help the dentist diagnose specific problems or isolated symptoms you might be having. Dentists can diagnose different conditions from a simple cavity to a cysts with the help of an x-ray.
Below are some reasons why a dentist might request a dental x-ray:
• To detect injuries to the roots, jawbone damage or tooth decay
• To observe the position of the teeth in the mouth and locate any impacted teeth or crowding
• To ensure the child's permanent teeth grow in properly this includes wisdom teeth when they start growing at the adolescent stage.
• To check for an abscess, tumors or cysts
If you are worried about getting a dental x-ray, there is no reason to be. Feel free to ask any of our staff at Perfect Dental any questions you might have.