Dental health is right up there with medical health. You wouldn’t avoid seeing your doctor if you had a broken bone, and you shouldn’t avoid seeing your dentist for regular visits, or pain and discomfort checkups as well. Dental x-rays are the newest way to help you and your dentist. A dental x-ray allows dentists to see diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that could otherwise not be seen by oral examination alone. A dental x-ray at the right time can also mean prevention, early detection, and early treatment.
How often are dental x rays needed?
Depending on your oral and dental health, dental x rays are needed at different times and frequency. For instance, a toothache. While some toothaches can be painful, there are several teeth and gum diseases that lay well beneath the surface and you may not ever know about without a dental x-ray. Continue reading to learn more about adult dental x-rays including how often you need them and what to expect.
What to expect form a dental x ray
The x-ray itself is painless. It’s the impending disease and treatment that might be a little uncomfortable. There are several different types of x-rays, but they are all performed in relatively the same manner. Keep in mind there are also digital versus plain film x-rays. In today’s modern technological era, digital x-rays are replacing plain film x-rays because digital x-rays use a signal to take images of the teeth, which are immediately sent to a computer to be seen. Unlike plain film x-rays which need time to be developed. Specific types of x-rays include: bitewing, occlusal, and panoramic x-rays, which will be performed as follows.
• The individual sits upright in a chair.
• The dental technician places a lead apron on your chest and a thyroid collar around your neck to protect your body from the x-ray signals themselves.
• The x-ray sensor or film is placed in your mouth and images are taken.
Depending on whether your x-rays are digital or plain film, your dentist could discuss the future of your oral health right then and there.
How often are dental x rays needed?
X-rays are great, right? They provide early detection, they’re painless, and annual x-rays are covered by most insurances. So when offered, most people will say yes to their annual x-ray, but the truth is you do not need them annually unless there is something going on in your mouth that needs to be resolved or monitored.
X-rays are necessary more often for children since cavities develop faster. For adults, the rate for a cavity to develop is typically 2 years. Thus, an x-ray for adults with high risk of cavities can actually wait 18 months between x-rays. On the other hand, if you’re an adult and not prone to cavities or gum disease, you can wait 2-3 years between x-rays as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). An adult with excellent oral health should follow these guidelines and not overuse x-rays, as most dentists do. Although the amount of radiation with bitewing and other x-rays is exceptionally low, there is no need to expose yourself to any radiation if it is possible to avoid it.
What if you choose not to get dental x rays?
Of course, if you never feel any pain or discomfort and are not a contender for cavities and gum disease, you may choose not to get dental x-rays regularly at all. There is no practice that mandates them.
However, if you experience pain or discomfort and seek dental treatment, your dentist will most likely need to use x-ray to determine the problem. Not having dental x rays taken may lead to other dental health concerns, especially if there is an underlying problem.
Other x-rays for orthodontics and mouth surgery also do not follow the regular dental x-ray rule. There are exceptions when other procedures are necessary. A dental x-ray might be news to you, or perhaps you’re a regular veteran, either way remember that good dental hygiene isn’t just about your teeth, it can sometimes be about the quality of your life.
Visit your dentist, ask questions and determine what is best for you. The advantage of regular dental visits and x rays includes the potential detection of serious problems. Further, maintaining your oral health helps to limit the need for dental treatments such as dental crowns, dentures, bridges, and fillings. It is the goal of Dr. Sedki to help patients keep and maintain their natural teeth and offers dental care to patients of all ages
Our dental office in Commerce MI strives for optimal dental health for each patient. Twice daily brushing and regular dental checkups are highly recommended. Call today for and appointment and Free dental evaluation!