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Dental X-Rays: When and How Often Do You Need Them?

October 10, 2022 / DENTISTRY

If you’ve been keeping up to date on your regular dental visits, chances are you’ve experienced dental x-rays at some point. Dental x-rays are an easy, comfortable, non-invasive element to every comprehensive oral care regimen, and an important service offered by your family dentist in Caledon.

What is a dental x-ray?

X-rays use a special type of radiation called electromagnetic waves to see through the skin, muscles, and fascia in the body to create images of what’s happening beneath the surface. Dental x-rays are a special form of x-ray that’s focused on the head and neck, giving your family dentist the opportunity to get a true picture of the health of your teeth and jaw. While the radiation from dental x-rays is low, because this is the only area being x-rayed, the rest of your body will be covered by a lead apron to protect you from any excess radiation.

Why do I need dental x-rays?

While family dentists are highly skilled professionals, there’s only so much they can see using their eyes and intraoral cameras. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to see if there are any cracks, fissures or cavities forming in the teeth, giving them the opportunity to fix small problems before they develop into more serious issues. These x-rays will also show any bone loss or decay that can result from periodontic disease or simply the aging process.

Dental x-rays are quick and painless.

How often do I need dental x-rays?

It’s important to keep a close eye on children’s teeth as they develop. Children and teens with a history of cavities should consider dental x-rays every 6-12 months. Children and teens who are not at increased risks can reduce that frequency to every 12-24 months.

Adult smokers and tobacco chewers are at higher risk for enamel erosion and tooth loss, so it’s recommended that they have dental x-rays every 6-12 months.

For adults who have had dental restorations and appliances like fillings, crowns, implants, and bridges, it’s recommended to have dental x-rays every 12-18 months to ensure that any decay or developing cavities are identified before they progress and impact the appliances in place.

Adults who do not fit in these higher-risk categories can have dental x-rays every 2-3 years.

Has it been a while since you’ve had a dental x-ray? Do you think you may be overdue? Call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule an appointment to have an overall checkup of your mouth, perform any dental x-rays that are needed, and get you on the path to a lifetime of good oral health.