Do I Really Need Dental X-Rays Every Year?

X-rays are used by dentists to accurately assess your dental health, especially when it comes to areas that are not visible to the naked eye. However, you don’t want to have X-rays taken more than necessary. Continue reading to discover how often and when dental X-rays are needed for the average person. If you have any further questions regarding your routine dental exams, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced dental team.

Why do dentists use X-rays?

Dental X-rays are used during routine dental exams for a variety of reasons. Dental X-rays are used on adults to look for areas of decay that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, your dentist will be able to see the areas between the teeth and underneath a filling by using a dental X-ray. X-rays can also help detect early signs of tooth decay, observe overall oral health, and monitor jaw and tooth formation for adolescents.

This practice allows dentists to exercise preventative action by discovering problems such as bone loss from periodontal disease, signs of issues in the root of the tooth, infection or death of the nerves, cysts, cancer, or changes caused by disease of the body. If your dentist plans to place braces, dentures, tooth implants, or other dental work they will also use dental X-rays to assist them in this preparation.

There have been some concerns and conversations surrounding X-rays in the past regarding the risk of safety due to exposure to radiation. However, as our technology develops, exposure to radiation has been lowered significantly. The risk is almost nonexistent due to the implementation of digital X-rays and minor radiation exposure. Dentists will also use a lead covering with a thyroid collar to protect the thyroid during any X-rays you may have during your visits.

How often are dental X-rays really needed?

The American Dental Association recommends that healthy adults with no major apparent dental problems only need to get X-rays every 2-3 years. However, the ADA suggests that patients with recurring decay or other oral complications have X-rays taken once or twice a year. Comprehensive X-rays are used as a part of the preparation for many dental procedures. This includes extractions or tooth planning.

To learn more about X-rays, reach out to our experienced dental team to discuss your upcoming check-up.

Contact The Dental Associates of Basking Ridge

Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is a compassionate, gentle, and professional state-of-the-art dental practice serving Basking Ridge, Morris & Somerset County. Our office is always ready to greet our patients with a smile, take the time to answer any questions, and provide the quality dental services our patients expect. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

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