24 Feb The Importance of Routine Dental X-Rays
Dental X-rays play a vital role in diagnosing and visualizing possible damage or disease of the teeth and surrounding tissue that is not detectable during a normal oral exam. Early detection can help save you time, money and possibly your life.
Who needs x-rays?
Just about everyone who has teeth needs X-rays. How often you need them depends on your age and your oral health habits and history. Kids should have their first set of X-rays around 5 years of age, unless their health history dictates otherwise, and then once a year until they are grown. X-rays can help discover decay, determine if there is adequate space for permanent teeth, give guidance for orthodontics and keep a close eye on wisdom teeth as they enter adulthood.
Adults with a history of healthy check ups should have X-rays every 2 years, while high-risk patients should have a set of X-rays taken once a year. Smokers, those with periodontal disease, dry mouth, decay, and those with extensive restorative work can be considered high-risk. In fully developed mouths, X-rays can identify decay, reveal bone loss, assist in the preparation of tooth implants or dentures, and reveal abscesses or other abnormalities like cysts or tumors. If you are a new patient, we like our patients to have set of X-rays taken to provide a baseline for years to come.
Are they safe?
Despite a small amount of radiation exposure, dental X-rays are not dangerous. The American Dental Association states, “X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonable Achievable (the ALARA principle). “ You are exposed to more radiation sitting in direct sunlight for several hours than you are in the dental chair getting a set of dental x-rays. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about x-rays or your dental care, please ask Dr. Patel.
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