Here at Steadman Family Dentistry, we understand that receiving X-rays is a major concern. This is why we have invested in state-of-the-art, low radiation, digital sensors that drastically reduce the amount of radiation the patient experiences. So much so, that the amount of radiation used in an extensive full mouth series is the approximate equivalent of 20 minutes of sunlight. In addition, we determine the minimum amount of x-rays necessary to allow our doctors to effectively diagnose your dental problems and status.

How often dental X-rays (radiographs) should be taken depends on the patient`s individual health needs and is individualized for each patient. Your medical and dental history will be reviewed and your mouth examined before a decision is made to take X-rays of your teeth.

When X-rays pass through your mouth during a dental exam, more X-rays are absorbed by the denser parts (such as teeth and bone) than by soft tissues (such as cheeks and gums) before striking the film. This creates an image on the radiograph. Teeth appear lighter because fewer X-rays penetrate to reach the film. Cavities and gum disease appear darker because of more X-ray penetration. The interpretation of these X-rays allows the dentist to safely and accurately detect hidden abnormalities.

The schedule for needing radiographs at recall visits varies according to your age, risk for disease and signs and symptoms. Recent films may be needed to detect new cavities, or to determine the status of gum disease or for evaluation of growth and development. Children may need X-rays more often than adults; this is because their teeth and jaws are still developing and because their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.

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