Have you ever heard the expression, “Just the tip of the iceberg?” This means that when you see an iceberg in the ocean, it might look big but in reality, the vast majority of it is hidden under water. The same can be said about your teeth which is why dental X-rays are necessary. You or your dentist might see some visible issues on the outer surfaces of your teeth, but only an X-ray will be able to glimpse what’s going on underneath the enamel. Read more to find out why X-rays are so important and how they can help you.
Why Are Dental X-Rays Important?
One of the main reasons we go to the dentist is to detect dental problems before they could turn into something much more serious. Your dentist can examine your mouth and see signs of noticeable issues, but some oral diseases and problems are simply not visible to the naked eye.
Dental X-rays can detect even the faintest traces of oral health difficulties at their earliest stages rather than waiting for something to fester enough that it’s visible. X-rays can detect early signs of gum disease, infections, cavities, and even some types of tumors. This allows you to get the treatment you need before it becomes a much more serious issue saving you time, money, and a lot of pain.
How Often Should I Get Dental X-Rays?
The frequency of your dental X-rays depends on these factors:
- Your medical and dental history: Are you more prone to cavities or other oral diseases? Your past health will influence the frequency of dental X-rays you need.
- Your current condition: Are you having any pain or struggling with a dental problem? This could be an immediate cause for dental X-rays.
- Your age: Children receive dental X-rays every 6 months until their higher risk of tooth decay subsides, or they get their first adult tooth. Children are much more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay, making X-rays more necessary. An adult will receive dental X-rays every 2 years unless they have high risks of dental diseases or decay.
Each dentist may vary in their X-ray schedules, but typically dental X-rays will decrease as you go from a child to an adolescent and then into adulthood barring any major oral health issues.
Why Are Dental X-Rays Safer Than Ever?
It’s no secret that over the years we have come to realize that X-rays can be bad for you—they expose you to possibly harmful radiation that can sometimes lead to cancer. Have no fear—modern technology is here! Today, a lot of dentists use digital X-rays because of their many advantages:
- Health: Digital dental X-rays reduce radiation exposure by at least 75%. This means peace of mind as a patient knowing you aren’t being exposed to harmful radiation.
- Image enhancement and quality: Digital X-rays have much better image quality than traditional X-rays, and dentists can even digitally enhance the images to better see specific areas of the mouth.
- Modern technology: Since the X-rays are digital, images of your teeth and mouth can be easily displayed and distributed making it a lot easier for you and your dentist.
X-rays are an important preventive measure to catch dental problems before they become much more severe. Contact your local dentist today to discuss digital X-rays and how they can help you!
Meet The Dentist
Dr. Mark Farthing opened Indianapolis Family Dentistry in 1985, where he is passionate about caring for his patients. He is continuing his dental education through advanced studies and remains up to date on the latest technologies used in dentistry. He is ready to discuss how digital dental X-rays can help and can be reached by phone at (317) 898-3384 for any questions you may have.