Dental X-rays aren’t necessarily the most pleasant of experiences. In fact, they’re rather uncomfortable. Not quite as uncomfortable as a needle in your gums, but still uncomfortable nonetheless. The question then becomes: How often should you have your teeth X-rayed? Well, there are just some things that you can see on a dental X-ray that you cannot see through a superficial evaluation. In most cases, dentists will want to get an X-ray when you schedule your initial appointment simply to get an idea of what they’re dealing with. But do you need periodic dental X-rays?
You Do Need Periodic Dental X-rays
Like everything in your body, the condition of your mouth, gums, and teeth are subject to change over time. If you have a cavity or require an extraction, the dentist needs to be able to see inside your gums so they know where to inject the novocaine. Additionally, dental X-rays can:
- Show areas of decay that aren’t visible to the naked eye
- Show decay occurring beneath an existing filling
- Reveal bone loss that occurs with tooth loss or gum disease
- Guide the preparation of implants, braces, and dentures
- Reveal if you have an abscessed tooth
When children get dental X-rays, it’s usually because the doctor is watching how their teeth are coming in. In cases where a child’s mouth is too small to accommodate all the incoming teeth, the doctor will be able to predict this and fix the problem before it occurs. Your dentist can check to make sure that a child’s first set of teeth are being lost quickly enough to accommodate their permanent teeth. Dentists can also check for impacted teeth and identify any areas where there emerging tooth decay.
How Often Should Teeth Be X-rayed?
How often you get your teeth X-rayed will depend on a number of factors. These include your age, your dental history, and prevalence of gum disease. Those with no major issues can have the dentist perform an X-ray as infrequently as once every two years while those whose mouths are undergoing major changes or have major dental issues may want to get one done once every six months.
Children will need to get dental X-rays more frequently than adults, at least until their final set of teeth come in. Children with impacted wisdom teeth or other decay problems will need to get their teeth X-rayed more frequently. The same is true for adults. Adults who have no major decay problems can get their teeth X-rayed less frequently than those with cavities or other issues. Even those with major dental problems will only need to have their teeth X-rayed one a year or, at worst, once every six months.
Talk to a Cottonwood Dental X-Rays Specialist Today
If you’re worried about your teeth, the family dentists at Peak Family Dental Care can take a look and recommend a treatment plan that will have you moving in the right direction again. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.