Dental Tips Blog


How Often Should My Teeth be X-Rayed?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Dental X-rays are needed during your routine exams. They allow your dentist can look for cavities between your teeth, underneath fillings and to check for bone loss around the teeth. Some x-rays can detect cysts, tumors, or other problems in your jawbone. Your dentist is unable to see those areas just by looking in your mouth.  Since these images are needed to check areas, how often should you have them taken?

Depending on your dental and medical history, the frequency of having x-rays taken, can vary.  Some people need to take dental x-rays every 6 months; especially they have a dental history of gum disease and frequent cavities.  Other people may only need to take dental x-rays taken every 2-3 years, since they see their dentist regularly, and have no recent history of gum disease or cavities.

In any case, most dentists will want to take dental x-rays on your first dental exam at their office.  They will use these initial x-rays to have as a baseline to compare future x-rays or exam findings to. Children and teenagers will have a different frequency from adults.  Younger patients need x-rays taken to check for cavities, since their teeth decay very quickly. It also allows your dentist to determine whether there is enough room for permanent teeth to come in, and to check the development or positioning of their wisdom teeth.

Have you been in to see your dentist recently?  If so, did you have dental x-rays taken? If it has been a while since you have had a dental checkup and a cleaning, call your dentist to schedule a checkup visit today!

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642


4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip Dental X-rays

Posted in Digital X-Rays

1.- If you are new to our practice, then we need a complete set of x-rays in order to get to know you.

There are many key details about your mouth that your dentist simply cannot know unless he has a recent set of x-rays. Your dentist wants to provide you with the most individualized care that he can possibly give. X-ray technology is a vital tool that gives your dentist a picture of your unique dental condition and needs.

2.- X-rays reveal spots of tooth decay in-between teeth.

Cavities that develop on the chewing surfaces of teeth can be detected in the course of a regular dental exam. However, the smooth surfaces between teeth that are touching cannot be viewed because your teeth are fixed in place. X-rays allow a see-through image to show what those in-between surfaces look like.

3.- Developmental changes are carefully monitored.

It is especially important for children’s teeth and jaws to be carefully monitored as they grow. Some conditions or injuries may require that specialized x-ray technology be used. For example, cephalometric and panoramic x-rays can show a more complete picture of the jaw, cheeks, and sinuses. These allowyour dentist to determine the need for procedures such as braces or wisdom teeth extraction. The sooner your dentist learns such information, the easier it will be for him to provide the most non-invasive corrective treatment possible.

4.- Your mouth changes constantly.

Because of changes in health, medication, diet, oral hygiene, or even residence, your mouth can experience significant changes within a few months. By regularly having dental x-rays taken, you will receive dental care that is best-suited to your needs.Talk to your dentist for more information about how dental x-rays benefit you.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554


4 Reasons Why Dental X-Rays are a Necessity

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Dental x-rays have a bad reputation as being something that is necessary or even harmful to your health. In reality, digital x-rays are one of the safest procedures performed in our office – with radiation levels being less than those you get out in the sun or flying in an airplane. They play an important part of your dental care experience. Here’s why:

With dental x-rays, your dentist can:

Examine bone height between the teeth.

Gum disease causes bone loss, tooth mobility, and ultimately tooth loss. Seeing the levels of the bone margins can give your dentist the chance to take proactive measures that prevent bone loss or improve the chance to develop new bone before complex problems develop. 

Screen for tooth decay.

Yes your dentist does check for cavities during your exam, but some types of cavities are not visible during an example. For instance, cavities between the teeth, new decay around existing restorations, or those that have may have developed through deep pits in the top of the tooth. 

Evaluate the eruption patterns of other teeth.

Being able to assess the development of unerupted teeth is important when evaluating wisdom teeth or young children. Early diagnosis provides you with more liberty to take proactive measures that can impact the smile a few years down the road. 

Screen for cysts, tumors and infections.

In the rare chance that a tumor or severe infection develops, an x-ray won’t just save your smile – it can also save your life!

X-rays give your dentist to see through teeth and gum tissues to address underlying problems that may not be evident right away. Ask your dentist which type of x-rays you need and how often.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Horlick DDS
6572 Hwy 92 #120
Acworth, GA 30102
(770) 591-8446


Understanding The Use of Dental X-rays

Dentists and their teams understand the concern that all patients have in regard to having x-rays taken during their appointments. Whether it’s comfort of the actual x-ray process, or exposure to radiation, your dental professional can help answer your questions and concerns you have about the entire procedure.

Dental x-rays are used to diagnose, screen for, and monitor conditions around individual teeth as well as the head and neck. These conditions include:

  • Bone loss
  • Decay
  • Tooth formation
  • Failing dental restorations
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Periodontal disease
  • Impacted teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Fractures
  • Crowded teeth

…And many more

Typically x-rays are taken once per year to screen for early onset of dental decay between the teeth. Patients that have a previous high frequency of decay may need x-rays taken twice per year to catch decay at its earliest signs. This allows your dentist to treat the area while disease is smaller and less invasive. Avoiding x-rays prevents your dentist from being able to diagnose decay between the teeth as well as bone loss. Advanced bone destruction can result in the loss of teeth. Other x-rays are taken to view specific areas such as around the roots of individual teeth (for root canal treatment) or a broad overview of the entire mouth (for orthodontic evaluation or checking on wisdom tooth formation.)

Radiation from dental x-rays is extremely low and is less than received from the sun on a typical day spent at the beach. Digital x-rays use less radiation than traditional films, reducing the overall exposure for patients at each appointment.


When Are Dental X-Rays Needed?

It’s not uncommon to hear dental patients ask about x-rays when they visit the office. Most people wonder when they are needed, especially if they come back to the treatment area to have new ones done, but remember having an x-ray taken at the last visit. To better explain when dental x-rays are needed, it’s important to let the patient know about the different types of x-rays and what they are used for:

Bitewing X-rays

Bitewing x-rays are 2 films for children and 4 films for adults. Bitewings are needed usually every 12 months for your dentist to screen for developing tooth decay between your back teeth. Bitewings can also screen for bone loss.

Periapical X-rays

Periapical films show the entire length of the tooth, from crown to below the root. Periapicals are used to check for trauma, abscess, bone loss, infection, root canal treatment or other evaluation of the root area. Periapical films are taken as needed, usually for limited exams of specific treatments to specific teeth at the time of the appointment.

Full Mouth Series X-rays (FMX)

An FMX is usually taken once every 3-5 years and is a combination of bitewing x-rays and periapical films. An FMX is most often taken at your first dental appointment for your dentist to perform a fully comprehensive examination.

Occlusal X-rays

Occlusal films are taken on small children to evaluate the eruption of their anterior teeth.

Panoramic X-rays

Panos are usually taken every 3-5 years to evaluate tooth eruption, jawbone, anatomy, pathology or wisdom tooth problems.

X-ray frequency can also be adjusted based on your dental history. Some people need to be monitored more closely due to weak teeth or older restorations, while other people with perfect teeth may need films taken less frequently.

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