Getting an X-ray is an essential part of your oral exam — it shows the dentist any underlying issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye. It can also detect diseases such as oral cancer and lymphoma. But X-rays also emit radiation, and too much radiation is a bad thing. So it’s important to know how often you should have X-rays done. Let’s find out below!
Dental X-rays provide your dentist with invaluable information. It can help determine developmental abnormalities, infection, abscesses, and other problems that cannot be detected easily. Because children develop quickly, it’s important for the dentist to take an X-ray every year or two to monitor growth and ensure their teeth are coming in correctly. Adults, on the other hand, only need x-rays when an underlying issue is detected or as part of a proactive defence approach.
Cavity Risk Factors
It’s crucial to catch cavities early. If your dentist can actually see it without an X-ray, it’s a problem. Patients who already have cavities are generally at a higher risk for developing more, which means they’ll need X-rays more often than someone who is in a low-risk category.
Oral Hygiene Factors
If you enjoy a diet that’s high in sugar and starches, or if you have poor oral hygiene, your dentist may recommend having X-rays more often. Those who regularly indulge in sweets, and don’t take proper care of their teeth and gums are more likely to develop tooth decay and gingivitis.
Your dentist will also consider your current health factors when determining how often you should have an X-ray. Certain diseases and conditions may prevent you from undergoing the process. And on the flipside, certain situations may require you to have them done more frequently to monitor disease progression.
If you have any questions or concerns, we are always glad to answer and discuss them with you. Contact us today to set up your next appointment.