How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

It’s advised to get dental X-rays every year on one of your two annual dentist visits. While this may seem frequent, X-rays give your dental provider an inside look into the real health of your teeth. X-rays don’t just provide a look at how your teeth are shifting or what orthodontic care you may need: they also can point to signs of tooth decay, bone loss, or other infections between or underneath the teeth that aren’t apparently visible to a dentist’s naked eye. 

It's worth noting your dental professional may recommend more or less frequent x-rays than this general guideline depending on your individual treatment protocol. It's best to listen to YOUR dental professional for individualized recommendations!

For this reason, an annual dental X-ray can ensure that nothing goes undetected and that you and your dentist are always privy to the latest developments in your oral health. However, in some scenarios, it can be advised to get a dental X-ray even more often than every single year. 

This can apply if you are undergoing or have undergone an oral surgery, if you are in the midst of an orthodontic treatment, if there is reason to suspect decay or another issue, or if you have a history of any type of infection or oral disease. Your dentist will discuss these recommendations with you. 

The Dental X-Ray Process

Dental X-rays are easy, painless, quick, and can be performed in the comfort of your dentist’s office. Your dentist or a dental assistant will use different types of apparati to hold your mouth, jaw, or lips in the appropriate position for the type of X-ray you need. You will also be given a lead cloak to prevent your body from radiation. X-rays take less than 20 seconds, and the results will be available almost immediately. 

Your dentist can then show you the X-rays and walk you through their observations, pointing out any problem spots and explaining their diagnosis and treatment plan. 

These X-rays will also be kept in a file that can be revisited later, such as for comparing key differences that are one or two years apart. X-rays allow a comprehensive look at how your oral health or your teeth shifting have changed over time. Your dentist can also fax or transfer these X-rays over to your orthodontist or any other dental specialist who needs to look. 

Your dentist will perform dental X-rays alongside one of your biannual teeth cleaning visits. For any questions or concerns, simply ask your dentist! At Rifkin Dental, we ensure that patients have full transparency into their oral needs and any oral developments. X-rays help us to do this with confidence and ease, and we perform X-rays before teeth cleanings

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