While we are protecting you from dangerous bacteria and ridding your mouth of harmful plaque, you may think we have superpowers. But let’s face it, dentists don’t have X-ray vision. Even with the best eyes we can’t see between or inside your teeth. That’s why we rely on X-rays to help us! In fact, one of the most common questions we get from our patients is when and how often they should be getting X-rays taken.
The frequency of needing dental X-rays largely depends on the status of your overall health. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that we always perform a complete oral examination to evaluate a person’s need for dental X-rays. For a normal healthy adult, we recommend getting X-rays taken every 12 months, in order to detect areas of decay that are not visible with a normal examination. The annual set of x-rays that we take are only of the areas in your mouth that are the most common areas where cavities typically lurk.
3-D or panoramic scans.
In addition to your annual X-rays, at Tuttle Dental Care, we typically do a full scan of all of your teeth every five years. This scan gives us significantly more clarity of your dental anatomy and provides an enhanced visual of your jaw, bones, tissue and all of your teeth. The full scan can either be a 3-D scan or panoramic scan, depending on each patient, which will give us a better understanding of your dental health and help us formulate your treatment plan.
What’s the risk with X-rays?
Whenever an X-ray is taken, you are exposed to some level of radiation. Fortunately, with today’s technology, dental X-rays emit only a very low dose of radiation. You consume more daily radiation from your cell phone and the sun than the typical amount you receive from x-rays.