As a general rule, it is recommended to get a series of bites taken once a year and a full mouth x-ray (FMX) once every three years. Most patients, whether children or adults, should have two routine checkups a year, usually spaced out by six months. During one of these checkups, dental x-rays are usually necessary to assess the overall health of the teeth, jaw, and the bone underneath. People who are at greater risk of tooth decay or gum disease should have dental x-rays taken more frequently to detect signs of these diseases in their early stages.
X-rays from the first visit are also used to compare them with X-rays taken over time to detect any problems or unexpected changes. X-rays pass through less dense objects, such as the gums and cheeks, and appear as dark areas on X-ray film. The type of x-ray you need, your location, and your dentist's experience all influence your dental costs. The main factor in determining how often dental x-rays are needed is the number of fillings or restorations you already have in your mouth.
While a general dentist typically requires X-rays approximately once a year, there are a few other factors that may justify the need for an X-ray. Having undergone cancer treatments is an important factor in determining how often you should have dental x-rays. Thanks to advances in dentistry, such as X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to a small area, high-speed x-rays, the use of lead-coated full-body aprons, and federal laws that require precision and safety controls on X-ray machines, patients are exposed to less radiation than before. Other people who don't have any recent dental or gum disease and who have scheduled ongoing visits with their dentist may only need X-rays every two years.
Dental x-rays are an essential part of maintaining good oral health because they give the dentist a picture of what's happening below the surface of the teeth.