How Often Do I Need X-Rays for Routine Dental Care?

Routine Dental Care San Francisco, CA

Many dental patients have come to expect X-rays as a part of routine dental care. Once or twice a year, a patient may be asked to undergo this simple procedure that provides pictures of the teeth above and below the gum line. 

Healthy patients rarely have to think beyond holding still for a moment so that the camera can capture a good image, but others are keenly aware of what the results mean. The results of X-rays can help the dentist detect cavities, prepare the patient for a procedure, and monitor the progression of disease.

What purpose do X-rays serve in routine dental care?

Though most patients do not have to receive X-rays more than once a year as a part of routine dental care, other people have a dental condition that requires this imaging as a part of the treatment planning. Here are three ways in which a dentist may use X-rays to help care for patients.

1. Detecting hidden cavities and teeth

For children and healthy patients, annual X-rays are used to find cavities, watch for signs of decay, and make sure there is enough room for teeth that have not yet erupted. Occasionally, an X-ray at a regular checkup appointment can reveal a more serious problem such as a hidden cavity below the gums, a tumor, or an issue with how a patient’s teeth are erupting from the gums.

2. Preparing patients’ teeth for procedures

Patients who receive implants or braces or who are about to undergo wisdom tooth removal may need X-rays to check on the state of their gums, tissues, or hidden wisdom teeth. Investigating what is going on beneath the gums can give dentists a clearer idea of how to proceed with the patient’s scheduled treatment.

3. Monitoring severe dental disease

Patients who have severe decay or a history of several dental procedures, or those who are at risk for gum disease or other dental issues, may be advised to receive X-rays on a more regular basis. With these results, the dentist can devise treatment plans for individual patients.

How often should patients receive X-rays as a part of routine treatment?

Healthy patients who have no dental conditions aside from the odd cavity can continue to receive X-rays every 12 to 18 months as part of routine dental care appointments. Adolescents may need more frequent X-rays to detect the eruption of wisdom teeth. Adults who have current gum disease, or a history of gum issues, need frequent X-rays at the site of disease.

Children who do not have all of their baby teeth and adults who do not have any teeth may not need X-rays unless there is evidence of dental disease. A dentist is able to further advise in these situations.

Conclusion

Receiving X-rays is an important part of routine dental care. Patients of all ages should remember to attend regular dental visits and participate in receiving X-rays to monitor oral health and prevent serious dental problems in the future.

Are you considering routine dental care in the San Francisco area? Get more information at https://smilesonbalboa.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Routine Dental Care in San Francisco, CA.

Recent Posts

Tips To Overcome Dental Anxiety To Seek Routine Dental Care

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums does more than ensure a strong and beautiful smile. Proper routine dental care also helps lower the risks of developing many serious diseases, including certain cancers, heart problems, and diabetes. However, patients who struggle with dental anxiety may fail to stick with a regular cleaning and checkup schedule. As a…

Signs You Need A Dental Cleaning

Getting a dental cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. However, it can be difficult to know how often to get one done. Most general dentists recommend dental cleanings twice a year, but there are certain signs to be aware of that can indicate a need for them more frequently. Outlined below are…

Tips For Optimal Recovery From The All-on-4® Procedure

The All-on-4® procedure can significantly improve one's oral health and appearance. However, in order to achieve both, it is necessary to go through the entire process, which is known to be involved. Once the procedure is complete, the patient should prepare to undergo a lengthy recovery process. Recovery tends to be lengthy because the dental…

How Dental Surgical Implants Fuse With Your Jawbone

To replace missing teeth, you may have considered surgical implants as an option. When compared to dentures or dental bridges, dental implants offer several advantages, including increased comfort and longer-lasting results. However, since you will be living with this solution for the rest of your life, it's important to understand exactly how your implant will…

Recent Posts

Signs You Need A Dental Cleaning

Signs You Need A Dental Cleaning

Getting a dental cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. However, it can be difficult to know how often to get one done. Most general dentists recommend dental cleanings twice a year, but there are certain signs to be aware of that can indicate a need for them more frequently. Outlined below are…

Tips For Optimal Recovery From The All On  ® Procedure

Tips For Optimal Recovery From The All-on-4® Procedure

The All-on-4® procedure can significantly improve one's oral health and appearance. However, in order to achieve both, it is necessary to go through the entire process, which is known to be involved. Once the procedure is complete, the patient should prepare to undergo a lengthy recovery process. Recovery tends to be lengthy because the dental…