How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Do you have a lot of existing fillings?
- Do you a history of gum disease?
- Do you have several crowns in your mouth?
- Do you have missing teeth?
- Do you skip out on brushing or flossing your teeth on some occasions ?
- Do you consume too much processed sugars, such as candies, sweets, chocolates, sodas, etc.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions then you should consider having X-rays taken every 6 months along with your exam and cleaning.
If you answered “no” to all of the above questions then you are a good candidate for taking X-rays every other visit. Note that you have to be your own advocate here as most dentists won’t offer you this option on their own. Also don’f forget that the assistants may be automatically programmed to take X-rays every six month so you may have to let the staff and assistants know that you have discussed taking X-rays once a year and are there only for a cleaning and check-up only.
We prefer taking regular X-rays to help avoid any potential serious dental problems. Dental X-rays have very low levels of radiation and most dentists only take a few X-rays every six months. A full set of X-rays which consists or 16 to 20+ X-rays is usually only reserved for the new patients so sticking with the same dentist helps reduce your exposure. Keep in mind that all the benefits of not taking as many X-rays will be negated should you end up with a single infected tooth as a result of having missed it due to lack of sufficient X-rays. You will now require a whole bunch of X-rays for the root canal and even more for the extraction or dental implant. It is best to take those few recall X-rays regularly to help avoid these more serious problems.
helpful hint – Keep in mind that if you want to reduce radiation you need to be careful when switching dentists. Your new dentist will require a full set of X-rays to allow him or her to treat you. If you are switching dentists, consider obtaining a copy of your most current X-rays with you to allow the new dentist to skip having to take a full set of X-rays. But if you haven’t been to the dentist in a few years you will require new X-rays regardless, so don’t go through the troubles of obtaining these X-rays as they will not really help much any longer.