When you go to the dentist office, it could sometimes include x-rays to help our dentist define your dental health. We never want to take more x-rays than we need to even though x-rays have minimal radiation exposure. They make a great tool to diagnose many things going on with your teeth. We get one pretty common question: How often are dental x-rays needed?
Common Dental X-rays
Dentists try really hard to see between and around your teeth but it is impossible to see the inside of your teeth without x-rays. They also cannot see the roots or bones of your tooth.
There are many different x-rays, bitewing, periapical, panoramic and more. Bitewing x-rays are one of the routine x-rays taken at dental visits. These can show cavities and bone loss due to periodontal disease. Periapical x-rays can be used to help with the diagnosis of a cyst or abscess and also sets clear the changes of the roots. How about your wisdom teeth? If you are going to get them removed, we may take a panoramic x-ray. This is an x-ray that is exactly what it sounds like, taking a picture of your whole entire mouth. This allows our dentist to know the exact location of your wisdom teeth, or also known as impacted teeth, but the panoramic x-rays can also see tumors or problems with your jaw joint or TMJ which is also called your temporomandibular joint.
How Often Are Dental X-rays Needed?
Now, for the question of how often are dental x-rays really needed? This really depends on your dental health. According to the ADA (American Dental Health Association) their 2012 recommendations are that dentists should always have an examination and examine medical history before taking any x-rays. The guidelines are left to the judgement of the dentist determining the need for the x-rays before taking them.
Are dental x-rays needed?
Yes, as discussed, dental x-rays are definitely needed. Without them, it is really difficult to identify the problems that could becomeone so much bigger and harder and more expensive to treat. The x-rays allows Dr. Bruce Elkind to see the problems that are starting to form and how we can take the steps to prevent them getting any worse.