Dental x-rays ensure your teeth don’t just look healthy, but they are healthy! They can pick up tiny issues that are invisible to your dentists’ eyes and allow them to see what’s happening beneath the surface.
When are x-rays needed?
Dental x-rays may only be required every 2 -3 years, however your dentist will make a recommendation based on your oral health. Factors that determine whether or not x-rays are necessary include your age, stage of dental development, oral health history, risk factors for various conditions, and whether or not you are presenting symptoms of oral health problems.
What can x-rays detect?
With x-ray vision you can see almost anything! A dental x-ray can detect sneaky tooth decay, problems with existing dental work, the presence of gum disease, abscesses, tumors, and cysts. They can also see incoming adult teeth and wisdom teeth which can determine whether there is enough room for them or if they’ll need extra help to come through.
Are x-rays safe?
Dental x-rays are now safer than ever with the help of modern machines that use very low doses of radiation. In fact, you are probably exposed to more radiation from the sun when you walk down the street than you would be during the session! X-rays are also entirely safe for use with children. Pregnant women may be advised to refrain from x-rays until after their first trimester, however in some cases, a mother’s dental infection could be a greater risk to an unborn baby than a dental x-ray. If you are pregnant, your dentist will discuss this with you.
If x-rays are completely safe, you might be wondering why dentists leave the room while they are taken? Don’t worry, they’re taking lots of x-rays all day long and stepping out of the room helps them limit their ongoing exposure to radiation.
Like with most dentistry, prevention is key. Taking x-rays is an essential part of your routine exams and ensures that nothing is overlooked.