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What is With All the X-rays Each Year?
Posted on 10/20/2018 by Sundberg Office
If you're wondering why you need frequent dental x-rays, you are not alone. Many patients question the need for x-rays for several reasons, including radiation exposure concerns.
While the American Dental Association has deemed x-rays safe and it's been established that patients are minimally exposed, many people still have worries, especially with young children.
What are X-rays Used For?
Dental x-rays are an excellent tool to help us diagnose a condition correctly and start the right treatment that will make you feel better soon. Some things are not visible to the naked eye, even for those of us with the training to spot severe oral problems. For example, without x-rays, we could not determine how much bone loss a person has, before dental implant surgery.
How Often Should I Get X-rays?
X-rays are used on a limited, as needed basis. If you have no oral health conditions that we must treat, you won't need them. If you haven't been to our office in a few years or if you're a new patient, we will order a full set of x-rays to make sure there are no dental problems we cannot see with a visual examination of the oral cavity. If there is evidence of disease or decay, you will also get x-rays with a follow up until the decay is gone.
Once you are clear from decay, and if you're not at risk for additional problems, you will get additional x-rays every 24 to 36 months, depending on your situation. We also recommend x-rays if you currently have or have had a history of gum disease.
Children may need X-rays more often and as frequently as every six months, depending on whether or not there is decay present. Follow up of 12 to 24 months is recommended for young children and pre-teens until there is no decay.