If you’ve ever had a visit to the dentist, you probably received an x-ray. These x-rays give a clear picture of your teeth, gums, and interior portions of your mouth. When combined with a physical examination, they help to give a comprehensive overview of your oral health.
X-rays provide the dentist with a myriad of information. A clear image of the inside of your gums and teeth helps your dentist to look at your overall oral health. These images are also crucial in spotting issues, like tooth decay, impacted teeth, as well as cavities. If an x-ray is recommended from your dentist, it is important to follow through with it, as your oral health also has an effect on your overall health in general.
The general consensus suggests that you should get an x-ray at least once a year. This is on top of the suggested check up every six months. Of course, each patient has unique needs, and your dentist will let you know if anything on top of that is recommended.
As stated earlier, there is quite a multitude of information provided with an x-ray, so therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations of your dentist. There are some conditions and factors that may increase the recommended frequency.
- Patients who are older may need to receive x-rays more often because of age related dental risks like gum disease and dry mouth.
- If a patient has existing dental issues, x-rays would be needed more often if the patient exhibits symptoms of a more serious dental issue.
- Patients with gum disease, or who have had a history of gum disease, may need to get x-rays more frequently to monitor for signs of gum disease.
- Children may also require x-rays at a higher frequency, due to the constant changes of their teeth, as well as to keep an eye on their Oral health and oral development.
It is important to note that while x-rays do utilize some radiation, they are considered safe for adults as well as children. There is minimal exposure from the radiation and medical advancements have made the process even safer.
There is also an option for a digital x-ray, which offers even less potential risk to the patient than previous x-ray technology. You may be familiar with the bib that is worn during the process. This lead bib protects all of your organs during the process and prevents any exposure from radiation.
If you have questions about x-rays, feel free to talk to your dentist on your next visit and they will be happy to answer them.