1. Less exposure to radiation. Dental radiographs do expose you to some levels of radiation. Each X-rays equates to about 15 to 20 minute of regular daily radiation exposure and while that is not a lot, it’s still something.
helpful hint – Digital X-rays, the ones that go directly into the computer and bypass the need for films, expose you to even less radiation levels. So a thumbs up to your dentist if he or she is using digital X-rays.
2. Low risk patients don’t require X-rays as frequently. If you have excellent teeth and gums you may opt to have less X-rays taken. You can opt to go for once a year instead of 6 months, but we can’t recommend going any less than once a year without taking serious risks to your teeth or gums. Here are the conditions that make you a very low risk patient eligible for X-rays only once a year.
- No history of gum disease
- You have excellent oral hygiene and brush and floss diligently on a daily basis
- Very little to no history of dental work, maybe just a few small fillings at most
3. History of cancer or other concerning medical issues. If you have had a previous history of cancer or any other medical issues where you are encouraged to minimize exposures to radiation, then talk to your dentist about the possibility of taking less frequent X-rays. He or she may be able to accommodate this if your oral health is good enough and you are a relatively low risk patient.
helpful hint – When pregnant, you must skip routine X-rays and only take them for emergency pain situations. You could still receive your scheduled dental cleanings with your dentist if they have current X-rays on file. Keep in mind that the ideal time to receive dental treatment during pregnancy, if you must, is the 2nd trimester.