It’s not extremely enjoyable. You have to put on the heavy apron, hold a rigid piece of film in your mouth, and sit really, really still while your dentist’s assistant takes x-rays. Is it really needed? Absolutely! No question about it.
Your dentist can’t see everything that is going on with your teeth, bone, and surrounding tissue without x-rays.
- Cavities below existing bridgework, crowns, or other restorations
- Abscesses, cysts, and infections
- Cavities between teeth just below where adjacent teeth touch (interproximal cavities)
- The position of wisdom teeth
How Often Should X-rays Be Taken?
This depends on the dental patient. A patient with no history of tooth decay, no present tooth decay, no braces, and no existing crowns, veneers, or bridgework is at low risk for cavities. A high-risk patient is in the opposite situation and may have one or more of the following: previous tooth decay, existing restorations, braces, worn-away enamel, chipped, or cracked teeth. In addition, patients with an eating disorder or other medical condition may be considered high risk. People who haven’t had their wisdom teeth taken out also need to be monitored with x-rays more frequently.