The American Dental Association recommends that healthy adults with no apparent major dental problems only need X-rays every 2 or 3 years. However, the ADA suggests that patients with recurrent tooth decay or other oral complications should have x-rays taken once or twice a year. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift items to give away every month. Anyone can read what you share.
My dental hygienist congratulated me on the health of my teeth and gums. Then he said something that no doubt you too have heard while you were sitting in the dentist's chair. But the easy answer isn't necessarily the right one. Do I need bite X-rays every year? The American Dental Association Says No, and You Might Not Either.
Adults with no apparent dental problems do not need dental x-rays of any kind every year, the A, D, A. Adults who take proper care of their teeth and have no symptoms of oral diseases or tooth decay can go two to three years between bite X-rays, according to A, D, A. Adults at high risk of tooth decay (such as those with a history of tooth decay) should receive tooth decay at least every 18 months and possibly more frequently, depending on the condition of their teeth and gums. The interval between x-rays is determined by the rate at which cavities develop.
It usually takes about two years or more for cavities to penetrate the enamel of adult teeth. The pace is faster for children, so the recommended bite intervals are shorter for them. However, children with properly spaced primary (baby) teeth without cavities don't need any dental x-rays. Older children with a low propensity for tooth decay may go 18 months to three years between each X-ray.
People at higher risk may need them more often. Bite x-rays and other dental x-rays have their place; there is a risk of not taking them. X-rays help dentists see cavities, gum disease, the position of teeth that are still below the gumline, and other dental conditions that aren't visible to the naked eye. Other types of dental and orthodontic imaging, such as full mouth, full head, panographs, or 3D cone beam computed tomography, reveal more.
However, dentists tend to abuse them. Friedman, a dentist who advises Consumer Reports on dental issues, has been warning about the overuse of dental imaging since the 1970s. Other x-rays used for orthodontic treatments, wisdom tooth extraction and implants, such as cephalographs (lateral x-ray of the skull and jaws) or 3D computed tomography with a cone beam, are not routinely needed, according to Dr. A study found that while X-ray images increase orthodontists' confidence in their diagnoses and treatment plans, the vast majority of plans are made before they are seen.
All x-rays can be harmful, although the radiation dose of bites is relatively low. Of all the medical radiation patients receive, dental x-rays account for less than 3 percent. But radiation damage is cumulative. Each X-ray increases the risk of damage that can cause cancer.
An unnecessary bite or other dental x-ray is unnecessary damage. Scintigraphy provides the same radiation dose as six traditional dental x-rays, and there is only limited evidence of greater diagnostic or treatment value than images with lower radiation. Although dental x-rays emit a relatively low dose of radiation compared to other medical images, a study involving more than 2,700 patients seemed to find an association with a higher risk of intracranial meningioma, the most common type of brain tumor (when exposure to X-ray radiation was greater than in the current era). Patients with a tumor were twice as likely as patients without one to have had a bite X-ray.
One limitation of the study is that its findings were based on patients' recall of dental x-rays, not on more objective medical data, which are not available. However, the study is consistent with previous, smaller studies that documented a higher risk of tumors associated with dental x-rays. Without dental x-rays, any problem that isn't visible could go unnoticed and cause potentially serious dental problems, such as tooth decay. Dental x-rays emit very low levels of radiation, so as long as you're exposed to radiation, the levels are low enough to minimize the risk of potentially harmful effects.
How often you receive dental x-rays depends on your age, your oral health, your risk of getting sick, and whether or not you have shown any signs of damage or illness. Other people who don't have recent dental or gum diseases and who have scheduled ongoing visits with their dentist may only need X-rays every two years. Dental x-rays detect any current or developing problems, such as damage or disease, in the teeth and gums that would not otherwise be visible on an exam. The American Dental Association states that healthy adults with no apparent risk of oral damage can have x-rays every 2 or 3 years.
Dental x-rays identify any risks to your oral health so that your dentist can better advise you on the next course of action. Radiation levels are so low that even people who are pregnant or breastfeeding can have dental x-rays safely and without fear. However, if you have a history of dental problems or have demonstrated that you may develop damage or illness, your dentist will recommend more frequent x-rays to ensure that your oral health is good. .