Did you know that 80% of all tooth decay occurs between the teeth? That means without regular X-rays, dentists would miss approximately 80% of all cavities, not to mention other dental problems such as gum disease, tooth cracks, infections, and bone loss that aren’t visible to the naked eye. X-rays are an important part of your annual dental services in Sharpsburg, GA. Read on to learn just how often your teeth should be X-rayed.
The frequency of getting dental X-rays depends entirely on your age and medical history. The general rule of thumb for a healthy adult is to get a set of bitewings taken once a year and a full mouth series every 3 years. Of course, if you are experiencing any pain or problems in between your regular X-rays, additional films may be necessary to diagnose what is going on. Adults who are at a high risk for dental decay may also be advised to receive X-rays more frequently.
Children and Adolescents
Children require X-rays more frequently than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing. As a result, they are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children get X-ray examinations every 6 months. Children with a lower risk of tooth decay may require X-rays less frequently. Adolescents can also expect to get an additional X-rays to check for wisdom tooth development and problems.
High Risk Individuals
X-rays help dentists to visualize problems with the teeth and surrounding tissues. Individuals who have a history of oral problems, are prone to dental decay, or have other health issues may require additional X-rays to help prevent further problems. You may fall into a high-risk category that could require more frequent dental X-rays if you:
- Have extensive restorative dental work
- Drink excessive amounts of sugary beverages
- Are prone to dental decay
- Have gum disease
- Frequently experience dry mouth
- Have undergone cancer treatments
- Are taking certain medications that can cause oral complications
- Smoke or chew tobacco