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A member asked:

How often should dental x-rays be taken? is this something that needs to be done during both dentist appointments a year, or can it just be done on one? it's my least favorite part of the visit. i have a small mouth, and it hurts to bite down on those tra

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Cosmetic Dentistry 49 years experience
The : The standard guideline is bite wing x-rays (the 4 you bite down on) once a year and a full mouth complete series or panoramic x-ray once every 3-5 years. The guidelines are continually changing so ask for an explanation at each visit. Sorry that they are so uncomfortable.
Dr. G Funari
Dr. G Funarianswered
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 45 years experience
I : I agree with dr. Scharf. If you maintain you mouth well and have a small decay experience, some dentist will take bitewing x-rays every other year. But if you have a significant decay experience, gum disease, or a large number of fillings you will need more frequent x-rays. Recently a study came out that came to the conclusion that dental x-rays put patients at risk for developing benign brain cancers. This is causing a lot of discussion and concern in the general public. There are two issues I have with this study. First, it is a retrospective study, not a double blind prospective sturdy that has more validity. It relies on asking patients to remember back to their childhood to determine the number of x-rays taken over their life span. This is a very inaccurate way to determine exposure history. Secondly, this is only one study and has no other supporting studies to stand behind it. Time will tell, but for now it is important to get appropriated dental x-rays to prevent serious mouth disease.
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Orthodontics 44 years experience
The : The risk versus benefit of taking dental x-rays varies from patient to patient. Too often dentists go by standard guidlines that makes sense for the average patient, but no one is really average. I would advise you to sit down with your dentist an establish a guideline specifically for your cavity and gum disease risk.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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