Dental X-Rays

How often should radiographs be taken?

How often X-rays (radiographs) should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease you may be experiencing. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults. This is because their teeth and jaws are still developing. Also their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. Dr. Bronner will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need radiographs. If you are a new patient, the dentist may recommend radiographs to determine the present status of your oral health and to help identify changes that may occur later. A new set of X-rays may be needed to help Dr. Bronner detect any new cavities, determine the status of your gum health or evaluate the growth and development of your teeth. If a previous dentist has any radiographs of you, Dr. Bronner or Dr. Chasky may ask you for copies of them. Ask both dentists to help you with forwarding your X-rays.

What are the benefits of a dental radiograph examination?

Because many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth, an
X-ray examination can help reveal:

  • small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
  • infections in the bone
  • periodontal (gum) disease
  • abscesses or cysts
  • developmental abnormalities
  • some types of tumors

How do dental X-rays compare to other sources of radiation?

The amount of radiation that we are exposed to from dental X-rays is very small compared to our daily exposure from things like, cosmic radiation and naturally-occurring radioactive elements (for example, those producing radon).