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General Dentistry

Why Do I Need Dental X-rays?

Apr 17 • 1 minute read

 

Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.


Dental X-rays may reveal:



Abscesses or cysts.
Bone loss.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between the teeth.
Developmental abnormalities.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!


Are dental X-rays safe?



We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment.  The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.


Dental X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe.  Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental X-rays.  These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each X-ray.


How often should dental X-rays be taken?



The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.


A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended for new patients.  A full series is usually good for three to five years.  Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

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