Some of the most common questions our patients ask at Belvedere Family Dentistry have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do I or my kids need them? How often should I get them? These are great questions (and we love how much you prioritize your oral health). The answers can get complex quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics for you in this post.
Let’s start with the most important question—safety. Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure. Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the dental X-rays we provide today are far superior to those taken even just a few years ago.
This applies to children, too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to through dental X-rays of their back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.
Why Do You Need X-Rays?
Dental X-rays, also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, that they can’t see through a visual examination. X-rays are especially important for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The benefits of dental X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.
How Often Should I Get Them?
Your dental X-ray schedule depends on a number of factors, including your medical and dental history. Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every two to three years. The best way to reduce the number of X-rays you need in your visits with us is to continue following a good oral hygiene regimen at home in between your regular, bi-annual appointments.
Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?
Call our front office at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics today at 704-927-5499 to ask a member of our team about your dental history! We will be happy to help you schedule your next appointment if you are overdue, or if you know you have not had dental x-rays taken in a while you can quickly schedule online with us HERE.