Dental X-rays have made dental treatments more accurate to the needs of patients. They help dentists and oral surgeons better visualise mouth conditions that cannot be seen with a simple and traditional oral exam. Dental X-rays allow dentists to detect and treat dental problems early in their development which can definitely save patients unnecessary suffering and costs.
However, many are greatly concerned about the safety of these X-rays. While radiation has long been established as an important component of a wide range of medical treatments, exposure to any form of radiation has small risks of negative effects. Your dentist will only use X-rays because the benefits of the procedure greatly outweigh any small potential risk of harm. Key elements of safe use include a combination of timing and the appropriate equipment – low-dose x-rays use only the minimum amount of radiation necessary to obtain the required information about the health of your teeth and gums.
How often should X-rays be taken?
X-rays are done according to need but most dentists advise children and adolescents a six to twelve-month interval between dental X-ray examinations if there’s decay present. For adults with the same dental condition, the interval is longer – from twelve to eighteen months.
Now for those who display no decay or are not at high risk for decay, naturally the interval is much longer; for children, it’s a year to two years; for adolescents, it’s a year and a half to three years, and lastly for adults, the interval is two to three years.
For your peace of mind though, it’s better if you consult a dentist who has a safe low-dose X-ray machine among his equipment. It’s also a good idea to inform your dentist whether you had undergone an X-ray examination recently when he advises you to get a new one for your teeth. This way, he can determine the best schedule and treatment for you. Take note as well that if you’ve recently had X-rays taken by a different dentist, your present dentist may still use them if they are of good diagnostic quality, although additional X-rays may be required, depending on each case.
Ben Swindley Dental diagnostic services has more information for you in relation to Xrays.