When X-Rays Are Important

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X-rays are a safe, reliable staple of dentistry. They help dentists locate problems before they require extensive work and keep a visual record of changes in your smile. Depending on your circumstances, a dentist may recommend X-rays once every six or only once every few years. However, some patients might need X-rays more frequently. To help you know what to expect, we’re happy to provide you with a list of patients who may need X-rays more frequently than others.

Kids: Generally, children need X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws aren’t fully developing. Dentists use X-rays to inspect that teeth are growing properly and to ensure that plaque isn’t a problem.

Dental Restorations: If you’ve had heavy dental work, a dentist could recommend X-rays to look beneath your restorations for decay or infection. These X-rays are important for finding issues that could be lurking in your smile before they become serious.

Xerostomia: Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a symptom (not a disease) that signifies diminished—or even absent—saliva flow. This is a problem because saliva carries away bacteria and helps prevent tooth decay. If you have dry mouth, a dentist could recommend more frequent X-rays to find signs of decay.

If you are interested in learning more about why you may need more frequent X-rays, please contact your dentist. They can give you advice that meets your specific needs.