The Reason for X-rays X-rays allow your dentist to see bones, tissue, and hidden surfaces of your teeth that he or she can’t see with the naked eye. Although X-rays expose you to a small amount of radiation the benefits greatly outweigh the risk . Here at Smith & Jackson Family Dental we believe in keeping radiation down with the ALARA principle (As Low as Reasonably Achievable).
How Much Radiation am I Getting?
While these are small amounts of exposure, radiation is cumulative over your lifetime, and should be minimized wherever possible. Four bitewing X-rays, which is what many people get in a routine exam, give about .005 millisieverts of radiation, according to the American College of Radiology. That’s about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun.
How Often Should You Get Dental X-rays?
For patients who aren’t having problems, the need is less frequent. The guidelines according to the American Dental Association recommend children who are not at a high risk for cavities should get X-rays once every one to two years; teens who are not at high risk should get them every year and a half to three years; and adults who aren’t at high risk should get them every two to three years.
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