Are X-rays needed every year?

Even the most skilled orthodontists or dentists can’t know everything about your teeth just by looking at them. Tooth decay and other severe dental concerns can develop under the surface of your teeth, and many alignment issues are too complex for the naked eye to notice. Dental X-rays can help orthodontists spot and treat most dental problems before they occur. But how often should you receive them? And is it necessary to undergo a new set of X-rays every year?

Why would you need to have a dental X-ray?

Dental X-rays are a diagnostic tool to help orthodontists diagnose potential issues that may not be visible at first during a typical examination. An orthodontist may also recommend an X-ray for an underlying issue or to ensure no new problems develop.

Additionally, your family orthodontist may recommend an X-ray to diagnose symptoms like:

  • Tooth decay or cavities: Cavities often develop in locations that are harder to brush, such as between teeth or near the gum line, making them hard to spot without an X-ray.
  • Root issues: Issues with the roots of your teeth may be tough to spot until it’s too late, making an X-ray an excellent tool for spotting and treating root issues.
  • Gum disease: Dental X-rays are essential if your doctor believes you’re at risk of gum disease, as they can identify bone loss.
  • Wisdom teeth: An X-ray can show if wisdom teeth are incoming and if an orthodontist may need to pull them to prevent pain and other dental issues.

Importance of regular X-rays

X-rays are a safe and necessary method of ensuring your teeth are healthy. Just as every patient’s health is subjective, the number of times patients receive X-rays will vary. Your dental hygiene and history often affect how often you undergo a dental X-ray.

While the American Dental Association recommends receiving an X-ray once every 12 months, those with a history of clean dental health and no infections may not need an X-ray yearly. Conversely, those suffering from a dental condition or disease may need a dental X-ray every six months. If you are a new patient, your orthodontist may have you undergo X-rays to determine if there are any current issues and monitor changes throughout care.

Your orthodontists may have you receive X-rays in preparation for dental procedures like tooth implants, dentures or braces. With this X-ray, your orthodontist can have greater confidence that your treatment will go as planned by ensuring no significant issues are present. An X-ray can also give your orthodontist insight into any alterations they need to make in your treatment and care afterward.

Receive an X-ray when you schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation from Hess Orthodontics

Our complimentary orthodontic consultation is an excellent resource for our patients. During this first visit, we want to learn as much about your oral health as possible, so we schedule an X-ray for our new patients. The X-ray allows us to gain an in-depth look at the health of your teeth to create a personalized orthodontic treatment plan. If you’re ready for a brighter smile, schedule a complimentary consultation with the Hess Orthodontics team in West Coastal and Central Florida today!