X-rays play an important role in diagnosing dental disease. They can be used to detect cavities, periodontal disease, infection, cancers of the bone, monitor dental development in children and even calcifications in major arteries.
Dental x-rays are a common diagnostic tool and are considered extremely safe. At Trinity Dental Loft, we use digital x-rays; digital x-rays produce just a small fraction of the amount of radiation found in other imaging procedures. Dental radiation represents a minor portion of average daily radiation exposure from all sources both natural and man-made. Fun fact: Routine bitewings exposes you to roughly the same amount of radiation you get when travelling by airplane from Dallas to Denver.
The ADA recommends that x-rays be taken every 6-18 months depending on the patient’s age and dental history. A patient who has never had a cavity will need x-rays less frequently than a person who has had a lot of cavities in the past and has a lot of dental restorations. At Trinity Dental Loft, we take the minimum necessary x-rays on all of our new patients. We make further recommendations based in each patient’s unique dental history and needs.
Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid dental x-rays. While the amount of radiation is minimal and safety measures are in place, it is best to avoid all exposure when possible in order to protect the developing fetus. Therefore, Dr. James does not perform routine x-rays on mothers who are expecting. X-rays will only be taken if the expectant mother is having dental pain and an x-ray is absolutely necessary for diagnosis and treatment.