How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-rays have revolutionized dentistry by enabling dentists to capture images of the inside of teeth, gums, and jawbones without the need to perform invasive procedures. These images are useful at identifying cavities beneath fillings, impacted teeth, infections, and bone loss in the jaw. 

Below, we asked Dr. Wayne Hofflich, our expert at SmileBoutique, to explain how often you should get dental X-rays. 

Children and teenagers who are at a higher risk of tooth decay 

Children and teenagers who suffer from diabetes and eat a diet high in sugar are at a higher risk of early tooth decay.

For this reason, one X-ray per year can help detect cavities and infections early on. Alongside the X-rays, dentists may also recommend taking preventive measures such as switching to a healthy diet and going for regular dental cleanings.

Patients with a large number of restorations 

Decay can sometimes occur beneath a filling, crown, or restoration, and sometimes these signs of decay cannot be detected during an oral examination. One X-ray every 12 months may be necessary to ensure that your teeth are in good shape and that there are no signs of hidden decay.

Patients suffering from gum disease 

If you’re suffering from gum disease, you’re at a higher risk of bone loss. Bone loss in the jaw can slowly alter the features of your face and age you. 

With the help of a yearly X-ray, you can catch bone loss early on and treat it before it changes the shape of your face. 

Patients who smoke cigarettes 

Smoking increases the risk of tooth decay, infections, and gum disease by decreasing blood flow to the teeth. 

When there’s less blood supply, your teeth can’t get enough nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Also, your gums may become more prone to disease, as restricted blood flow slows down healing. 

A yearly X-ray can detect changes to your gums and teeth and catch possible signs of disease early on. 

Addressing X-ray safety concerns 

As technology continues to evolve, the amount of radiation needed for dental X-rays continues to decrease. 

Today, due to the implementation of digital X-ray, which uses less radiation, the risks are nearly non-existent. However, to reduce your risk even further, we cover your thyroid with a piece of thick fabric that deflects radiation.

If you’re interested in preventing tooth decay, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Hofflich will examine your teeth and mouth and let you know if an X-ray is necessary in addition to an oral examination. 

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