Do I really need x-rays?
X-rays are an important diagnostic tool. As part of routine dental care, small x-rays of your teeth are taken. When we look at your teeth, we can only see the front, back, and tops of them. X-rays are needed to see the sides of the tooth as well as the roots of the teeth. Sometimes you may also need a full mouth x-ray. This bigger x-ray allows us to see you jaw and sinuses to check for any anomalies and also allows us to look at your wisdom teeth. Unless an x-ray is taken, some of your dental needs may be missed.
A full exam is also important to check your dental health. X-rays are an adjunct to your exam and allow the dentist to make a complete diagnosis. When taking x-rays we try to achieve exposure that is as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). If you have been to another dentist and have received recent x-rays, we will always ask for you to have them forwarded to us. This is to reduce your exposure as much as possible. However, x-ray exposure is considerably lower than it was in the past as most dental offices now take digital x-rays. Your dentist will tell you if it is recommended for you to have x-rays taken at your appointment.