When you go in for an appointment at the dental office, you’ll probably have X-rays taken before the teeth cleaning and exam. Dentists use this technology as a diagnostic tool, but the frequency with which it needs to be utilized varies on a case-by-case basis. Patrick M Pitts, DDS, in Archdale, NC, uses X-rays to diagnose problems and plan restorative dental treatments. Below, this dentist shares some helpful information regarding how often images should be taken.
The American Dental Association has developed official recommendations for the frequency of taking X-rays. However, they encourage patients and dentists to work together to determine the most appropriate course of action on an individual basis. They suggest patients with caries or at risk for caries should have posterior bitewing X-rays taken every six to 18 months. Patients who don’t have any decay and aren’t at risk may only need this service every two or three years.
Every other situation has to be evaluated to determine when X-rays are needed. For example, a dentist may order X-rays to ensure the success of a root canal procedure, to check bone density before inserting a dental implant, or to make a correct diagnosis when cavities are suspected. X-rays are also used to locate teeth that haven’t erupted and to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
X-Rays as a Diagnostic Tool
X-ray imaging serves as a useful tool to diagnose problems that aren’t visible in the dentist’s chair. They allow the dental office staff to look for signs of decay between teeth and under fillings. They can also help to diagnose bone loss, an infection in the root of the tooth, and other problems, including cysts or cancer.
Whether you need updated X-rays, an exam, or more comprehensive treatment, turn to the staff at Patrick M Pitts, DDS. This dental office offers complete range of general and cosmetic dentistry services, and they are committed to putting your comfort first. Give them a call today at (336) 431-0002 to schedule an appointment, and visit their website to learn more about how they will help you.