Been to the dentist lately? If you have, you probably got an X-ray as part of your exam. Dental X-rays help your dentist diagnose and treat oral conditions, like periodontal diseases and cavities, that they may not be able to detect with their eyes and instruments alone.
Dental x-rays use very low levels of radiation and are generally safe. However, all radiation can be damaging and is cumulative over a lifetime. Experts agree that X-rays should only be taken when they are absolutely necessary and your dentist can’t make a diagnosis without the information only the X-ray can provide. Delta Dental's X-ray frequency limitations are designed to minimize exposure, Also, as a precaution, your dentist should cover your body with a lead apron when taking X-rays of your teeth. Research indicates that this prevents up to 94 percent of the radiation from reaching your chest, abdomen and reproductive organs. For most X-rays, the dental office should also place a lead collar to shield your thyroid gland.
How often you need dental X-rays depends on your dental health. Those at lower risk for dental disease and
The ADA/FDA guidelines recommend a 6-to-8 month interval for adolescents and adults at higher risk and 6-to-12 months for higher risk children. The dentist should examine your mouth first to determine if X-rays are needed. If you change dentists or see a specialist, ask your dentist to send them to your new dentist.
The Selection of Patients for Dental Radiographic Examinations 2012 – American Dental Association, Council on Dental Benefit Programs, Council on Scientific Affairs and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service,