How Often Do I Need to Get Dental X-Rays?

How Often Do I Need to Get Dental X-Rays?

Dec 01, 2022

Dentists envision conditions of the teeth and surrounding tissues by taking images using dental x-rays because the issues are challenging to notice during a straightforward dental exam. The x-rays help the dentist detect and treat dental problems early to help you save money, unnecessary pain, and potentially your life.

Dental Issues That X-Rays Help Detect

Dental x-rays are used on adults to view areas of decay that remain invisible to the naked eye during oral exams, especially micro-cavities between the teeth. The images help identify decline occurring beneath existing fillings. For example, when treating adults with gum disease, dentists use x-rays to reveal bone loss accompanying the condition.

X-rays are also beneficial in revealing alterations in the bone or the root canal from the infection. The technology helps prepare for dental implants, braces, dentures or other dental processes. If adults have an infection in the tooth root, like an abscess, x-rays can help reveal the bump.

Children receive help from x-rays when dentists use them to determine if sufficient space exists in the mouth to accommodate the emerging permanent teeth besides the familiar problems with tooth decay. In addition, dentists can evaluate whether the loss of primary teeth occurs quickly to allow permanent teeth to emerge correctly. Dentists also receive help to verify the development of wisdom teeth and identify whether the teeth are impacted to emerge through the gums. X-rays also identify developmental abnormalities like cysts and tumours.

How Often Do You Need Dental X-Rays?

The frequency you need dental x-rays depends on your medical and dental history and current health. Many patients with no dental infections or gum disease are recommended dental x-rays by the dentist in Etobicoke twice yearly. However, many patients need x-rays every six months if they are prone to infections or have them. Dentists take teeth x-rays on new patients as part of their initial exam to establish a baseline record to compare changes that might occur over time.

Guidelines dentists may follow with the frequency of dental x-rays vary between patients and depend on various factors. For example, children without teeth are x-rayed before their first permanent tooth emerges. Adolescents are x-rayed before the eruption of their wisdom teeth. Adults with all permanent teeth are x-rayed comprehensively if there is evidence of dental disease or a history of extensive decay. Adults without teeth are not x-rayed unless they have specific dental conditions.

Frequencies of Dental X-Rays

Patients falling in the high-risk category are recommended dental x-rays in Etobicoke, ON, more frequently based on their age and other factors, as explained below.

  • Children generally need more frequent x-rays than adults because they have developing teeth and jaws besides tinier teeth. The x-rays help the dentist prevent tooth decay from reaching the interiors of the tooth to affect the dentin half and spread faster.
  • Adults with extensive restorations like fillings also need x-rays more frequently to detect decay under the fillings or in other locations. Patients consuming excessive sugary beverages to allow mouth bacteria to create cavities also need frequent x-rays. Patients with periodontal disease need x-rays to monitor for bone loss.
  • Patients with xerostomia causing a dry mouth because of medications or damaged salivary glands also need x-rays frequently because a dry mouth can result in cavities.
  • Smokers are at advanced risk of gum disease resulting in bone loss, and x-rays help dentists detect their jawbone condition.

The Safety of Dental X-Rays

Exposure to radiation sources, including the Sun, home appliances, soil minerals, and dental x-rays, damages the body’s tissues and cells, resulting in cancer. Therefore patients having x-rays taken are exposed to tiny levels of radiation when the dentist uses digital x-rays, which have become incredibly familiar in present times.

Dentistry advances over the years have led to many measures to minimize the risks associated with dental x-rays. Unfortunately, even with the advances, the effects of radiation accumulate over a lifetime. Therefore any radiation patients receive counts as a risk.

Patients concerned about the vulnerability to radiation from x-rays can discuss with the Etobicoke dentist how often the images are necessary and why. Some people might need more frequent x-rays for clinical reasons. However, guidelines state that x-rays are best taken when required for clinical diagnosis.

If you have concerns about dental x-rays at Regency Dental Center, you can discuss them with the Etobicoke dentist at the practice mentioned above. However, you will likely express confidence when you notice the dentist using digital x-rays to capture images of your mouth.