Chances are you’ve had X-rays taken at your dentist’s office before, whether as a kid or an adult. But did you ever stop to think about how cool that actually is? As dental professionals we can’t help but thank about it! With dental X-rays, you can actually see what’s happening inside your mouth, making them a miracle of modern science that we usually take for granted.
Since X-rays involve radiation, some people worry that they aren’t safe. But the truth is that getting the occasional dental X-ray is not only safe but an important part of your dental care regimen, just like seeing the dentist every six months for your cleaning.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Yes, dental X-rays are safe! The radiation exposure from dental X-rays is actually very small. State laws and regulations have strict requirements for radiation, so you’re not going to get enough to harm your body. Before you get a dental X-ray, your dentist will give you a lead vest to protect yourself from radiation.
Dental X-rays are also safe for children. Since children’s teeth grow and change faster than an adult’s, they often need more X-rays than adults. No matter your age, your dentist will take all the necessary precautions to make sure you are safe and protected.
Why are dental X-rays important?
Dental X-rays are important because they allow your dentist to see your teeth, gums, and jaw in great detail—a much higher degree than they could see with the naked eye. Your mouth could be changing in ways you’re not aware of, and it’s important for your dentist to see and note these changes in order to catch problems while they’re still small and take the necessary next steps to protect your health as soon as possible.
How often do I need dental X-rays?
The American Dental Association recommends talking to your dentist about X-rays so you can work together to figure out a plan. Your dentist will take factors like age and health into account and will make an informed decision about how often you should have dental X-rays.