Do I Need X-Rays Every Time I go to the Dentist?

Every time you turn around, it seems like we want to take x-rays. You ask yourself, Do I Need X-Rays Every Time I go to the Dentist? Well, here’s the scoop on what you need to know about radiographic imaging during your checkup:

Digital x-rays Use Very Low Radiation

Most people are concerned about the radiation associated with dental x-rays. The shift to digital radiography has drastically reduced x-ray exposure levels. That being said, we still step out of the room because of the risk of cumulative effects day-after-day, year-after-year. However, you get far less radiation from a set of dental x-rays than you do on a plane trip across the country!

X-rays Show What Isn’t Visible During an Exam

A visual examination of your teeth and gums is extremely important, but so is one that looks at the inside of and between your teeth. That’s why x-rays are so important. We will use the information to assess areas that can’t be seen with the naked eye. 

Your Teeth Change Between Visits

If your dentist wants to take an x-ray of your tooth that’s chipped, but you had one taken during your last checkup, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. It all depends on the angles and what portions of the tooth are visible. Routine “bitewing” x-rays taken during checkups are mainly for looking at areas above the root. A “PA” x-rays assess areas around the entire tooth and root. Panoramic x-rays are for an overall assessment of the jaws and dentition, but not small cavities. 

This is why it is important and necessary that we take x-rays at each visit. Have you had dental x-rays in the past year or two? If not, schedule your appointment with us here at Meadowbrook Family Dental in Sacramento, CA and we will monitor your smile’s health!

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