Is It Harmful to Always Get X-rays When I Go to the Dentist?

By on June 10, 2012
Female sitting in the dentist's chair.

How often you receive x-rays at your dentist varies according to your age, risk factors for disease, and signs or symptoms of disease.

Dentists typically rely on new x-rays:

  • To see decay in between teeth or under fillings and crowns.
  • To assess periodontal(gum) disease.
  • To check for an abscess or cyst.
  • To assess damage after trauma.
  • To evaluate growth and development.

The good news is most traditional film dental x-rays expose you to less radiation than that you would experience riding on an airplane. The better news is that the advent of digital x-rays has decreased the amount of radiation by up to 80% as compared to film dental x-rays!

If your dentist has a Panoramic digital x-ray machine there is even less radiation used than the typical intra-oral digital x-rays!

Other benefits of digital x-rays include:

  • The image is sent directly to the computer and viewed right away. (Saving you time at your appointment)
  • The image can be enlarged on the computer screen to aid the dentist in diagnosis.
  • They are environmentally friendly as they eliminate the need for film or processing chemicals.
  • They can be sent electronically to referring dentists or insurance companies speeding up your appointments or claims.
  • The images are usually of a much higher quality than those of film x-rays.

If you have more questions about your dental x-rays make sure and talk with your dentist!