How Often Should You Get Dental X-Rays?

Your teeth are in good shape and you don’t have any dental issues, so you don’t need to get dental x-rays, right? Guess again.

Studies show that dental x-rays are a very useful tool to look at parts of your tooth that you would otherwise not see or notice on a regular basis.

Dental X-Rays & Children

Due to the continuous changing and growing of the body, children should go through dental x-ray examinations every year or two to see how frequently and where their teeth are changing around in their mouth. A dental x-ray can also help predict when wisdom teeth are due to be out and what directions their teeth are growing in.

Frequent dental x-ray visits are also recommended for children because their teeth, at this stage, are growing faster than an adult’s and, therefore, can grow cavities faster. Checking this frequently can help dentists see cavities early enough to treat the tooth before it gets worse.

Some dentists will say that a child does not need to get dental x-rays if their baby teeth are spaced well and there are no signs of cavities.

Dental X-Rays & Adults

An adult with good hygiene and no dental issues generally needs to take bitewing x-rays of their molars every two to three years, while oral x-rays to check the root and bone health of your teeth should be every three to five years. Anyone with a high risk or history of cavities will usually be encouraged to get bitewing x-rays more frequently, at least every 18 months.

Dental X-Rays & Pregnant Women

New studies are showing that pregnant women can get dental x-rays safely, as many expectant mothers are encouraged by the gynecologists to visit a dentist during their pregnancy. Oral hygiene and checkups are especially important for pregnant women.

40% of expectant mothers in the United States have some form of gum disease due to the bodily changes that occurs during their pregnancy term. Taking care of your oral health while pregnant may help decrease the chances of the bacteria that cause cavities to pass down to your baby, which potentially reduces the child’s risk of getting cavities later on.

Dental X-Rays & Risks

Although there is radiation that is exposed during dental x-rays, the dosage is very small and considered not dangerous at all. However, many researchers believe that the harm from radiation can be cumulative, especially if a dentist has you taking one every year. With the proper use of dental x-ray procedures and increased education of exposure during dental x-rays, dentists, now more than ever, are choosing to only take dental x-rays when deemed necessary.

When is the last time you had a dental x-ray? If it’s been a while you should talk to your dentist about whether it would be beneficial to get dental x-rays. Our Elmwood Park office is available for more information or to book your appointment. We are located near Oak Park, Melrose Park, River Forest, Maywood, Franklin Park, and Bellwood, IL.