During your first dental visit, you would have been asked to take a dental x-ray. This question may cross your mind before, “I only want to get my teeth cleaned, why do I need to take an x-ray?”
There are two main reasons why dental x-rays are required during your regular dental check-ups:
Firstly, they facilitate accurate diagnosis. In order to give you a thorough and detailed update of your dental condition, dentists require more than just a visual examination. An x-ray offers approximately 60% more information. With the help of a dental x-rays, dentists can accurately diagnose and treat any detected issues early, before the condition worsens. This helps to save patients from having to go through complex and costly procedures.
Secondly, dental x-rays allows dentists to see the unseen. We use it to examine what is happening in between the teeth, underneath the gums, teeth roots and supporting bone. This process reveals the extent of tooth decay, bone loss, presence of cysts/tumors, buried wisdom teeth/extra teeth and so on. These issues cannot be seen with the naked eye and hence a dental x-ray is essential.
What are the types of dental x-rays?
We mainly use the following types of dental x-rays:
- Panoramic – full mouth
- Periapical – zoomed in to show entire single tooth (crown to root) for
- Bitewing – a few upper and lower teeth (exposed surface of teeth)
- Cephalometric projections – side view of entire head for orthodontic and jaw related treatments
- Cone beam computed tomography – 3-dimensional images of dental structures, soft tissue, nerves, and bone for dental surgery related cases like cysts and dental implants.
How often do I need to take dental x-rays?
Depending on the dental needs of patients, this differs for different individuals.
It is essential for every patient’s first visit to our dental clinic. If you have already taken an x-ray in the last six months, you may send it to us via email so that you do not have to take it again.
After which, if your oral hygiene and routine care is good and no dental issues are presented in the following dental check-ups, there is no need to take another x-ray at least for another two years.
However, if any dental issues are presented such as toothache or swelling, then there will be a need to take a new dental x-ray for examination.
Related: How safe are dental x-rays?
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