Dental X-Rays are an expected part of dental check-ups, but since you don’t do them every time, and if your teeth are generally cavity-free, you may find yourself wondering if dental x-rays are really necessary. Can you evade them if you don’t usually get cavities or other dental problems? Or are they as essential as that deep clean the dentist provides?
The American Dental Association recommends dentists and patients to discuss treatment – including dental x-rays – together in order to come to an informed decision. You can talk to your dentist and discuss your history and your options. Your dentist can tell you whether they think you are fine to skip an x-ray or if they recommend you have it done.
The Point Of Dental X-Rays
Dental x-rays detect any current or developing problems, such as damage or disease, in your teeth and gums that are not otherwise visible in an examination. They show your dentist problem areas and confirm suspicions about cavities, infection, and more. Dental x-rays identify any risks to your oral health so that your dentist can best advise you on the next course of action. Sometimes, dentists will flag potential cavities and tell you, so that you can work to prevent it from turning into a cavity.
Without dental x-rays, any problems that aren’t visible could go undetected, leading to potentially serious dental problems such as tooth decay. Your dentist can see some gum problems, but they cannot see into your gum itself. They cannot see into the bone of your teeth. If a problem is invisible to the eye, your dentist won’t know it’s there.This is what makes dental x-rays necessary to your oral health.
Now that we’ve confirmed the necessity of dental exams, let’s look at how often you should get them.
How Often Should You Get Dental X-Rays?
The frequency of which one receives x-rays depends on a number of factors. There is no one answer that works for all, because everyone’s mouth, oral hygiene, and dental history is different. How often you receive dental x-rays is affected by your age, your oral health, your risk for disease, and whether or not you’ve shown any signs of damage or disease.
If you are an adult with healthy teeth who has shown no risk for damage or disease, you can talk with your dentist about skipping an x-ray this check-up. The American Dental Association states that healthy adults with no apparent risk for oral damage are fine to have x-rays done every 2-3 years.
However, if you have a history of dental problems or you’ve shown potential for developing damage or disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent x-rays so that they can ensure your oral health is good. If it isn’t, then they can provide potential next steps to treat the problem. If you are pregnant, you may need to have dental x-rays done to check for any dental disease.
What About The Radiation?
People often fear the radiation of dental x-rays. The dentist goes to another room, after all, so is it really safe for you to be exposed to it?
Dental x-rays do give off very low levels of radiation, so while you are exposed to radiation, the levels are low enough to minimize any risk of potentially harmful effects. The levels of radiation are so low that even people who are pregnant or breast-feed can safely have dental x-rays without fear.
Do You Need To Schedule A Dental Exam?
Dental exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health, so it’s necessary to make regular appointments! At Mountain View Dental, we provide expert dental care for our patients. If you have any questions about dental x-rays or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us at Mountain View Dental today.