At this point, you’ve probably had dental x-rays before going in for a checkup. It’s a pretty common practice. While many people do opt out of getting dental x-rays, they are quite beneficial in finding a lot out about your teeth. Here’s how x-rays work.
How Dental X-Rays Work
Dental x-rays use special radiation that penetrates through skin and muscle to create a clear image of your bone structure. The idea of radiation entering you through light makes some people uneasy about dental x-rays—but the truth is, dental x-rays use the lowest amount of radiation doses. It’s completely safe.
In fact, the amount of radiation people get from x-rays is no different than the amount of radiation from the environments itself. Especially if you frequently watch TV, use cell phones, or travel a lot with planes.
Why you should get them
To the untrained eye, your dental x-rays look like a cloudy mess, faintly resembling your skull. But through dental screenings from a professional, the information is very valuable. A dentist will be able to tell a lot about your teeth and gums by looking at your x-rays and will have a place to start.
Some of the things that can be found with dental x-rays include:
- Tooth decay
Dental x-rays will be able to provide early diagnosis if anything is found, so it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist if an x-ray is the right thing to do at that time.
How often you should get dental x-rays ultimately depends on your particular oral care situation. Typically if you haven’t gone to the dentist in the last year or two, an x-ray might be a good idea. If you are visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning, your dentist probably won’t ask for an x-ray for quite some time.
However, if you frequently have dental issues, your dentist may request to x-ray your teeth more than once a year. This is a discussion to have with your dentist if you are curious, as it depends entirely on the practice and the patient.