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How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

Preventive diagnostic screening measures, such as digital X-rays, alert you to potentially serious oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and infections. X-rays allow the team here at Union Square Dental to examine structures that aren't visible during a routine check-up, such as your jawbone, nerves, sinuses, and tooth roots.

The recommendations for how often you need dental X-rays depend on your age, oral health concerns, and specific risk factors. Read on to learn more about dental X-rays and why they should play a role in your dental health care plan.

Why dental X-rays are important

Dental X-rays are a crucial diagnostic tool that allow Kateryna Grytsenko, DDS, and Yuliya Kanatova, DDS, to see what's happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. They help the team detect issues that may not be visible during a routine dental examination, including:

Dental X-rays can also help guide us when determining your eligibility for treatments like dental implants, braces, or dentures.

The different types of dental X-rays

There are several types of dental X-rays, each serving a different purpose:

Bitewing X-rays

These show details of the upper and lower teeth in one area, particularly useful for detecting decay between teeth.

Periapical X-rays 

These provide a view of an entire tooth, from the crown to the root.

Panoramic X-rays

These offer a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, and nasal area, useful for detecting impacted teeth or planning orthodontic treatment.

Occlusal X-rays

These capture the floor of the mouth and can show the bite of the upper or lower jaw.

Digital X-rays use a specialized sensor to capture and display the images on a screen for analysis. We’ve switched to digital X-rays because they provide near-instant results and valuable insights into your overall oral health and well-being.

How often you need X-rays

The frequency of dental X-rays depends on several factors unique to your personal oral health needs; these include your age, risk factors, and dental history. 

Typically, new patients undergo a complete set of X-rays to establish a baseline for their oral health. For established patients, we recommend you have X-rays every 1-2 years, as long as you maintain good oral health.

High-risk patients, such as smokers, people with gum disease, or anyone with a history of cavities, may benefit from more frequent dental X-rays. We may suggest regular imaging every 6-18 months. 

Children and adolescents often require more frequent X-rays because they experience rapid development in their jaws and teeth. Regular X-rays catch any developmental issues early on, when treatment is easier and often more successful.

Dental X-rays are safe

You may naturally be concerned about the exposure to radiation from X-rays. Know that modern dental X-rays are extremely safe. The digital technology we use provides 80-90% less radiation than traditional X-rays. 

We also take every precaution to ensure your safety, such as using lead aprons, to limit exposure.

Here at Union Square Dental, we offer dental X-rays as an important part of your overall oral health care. Call today, or use the online tool to book an appointment for a cleaning, dental exam, or dental work.

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