Kate Pano

Are Dental X-Rays Really Necessary?

As an office that offers full-service dentistry, we understand that patients are concerned about taking dental x-rays and incurring any unnecessary radiation or additional costs. From our perspective, we cannot provide an accurate diagnosis, even for a cleaning, without x-rays. We want to be sure we are providing the best care to our patients, and without x-rays there is a lot that we could be missing including gum disease, cavities, and abscesses.

Major dental problems often don’t have symptoms until the disease has progressed to a point of needing major work like root canals and crowns, or worse, to a point of no longer being restorable. Our doctors and hygienists have seen plenty of abscesses that didn’t hurt (yet), and large cavities on x-rays that you can’t see at all with a visual exam because it started just between the teeth and hollowed out the inside, leaving the enamel mostly intact.

Radiation exposure is important and is something we take very seriously. In terms of the additional radiation you receive, radiation from dental x-rays is actually lower than the background dose of radiation received by an average person on an average day or than taking a plane ride from New York to Los Angeles. Check out the Dentsply Rinn Radiation Dosage Chart below or click here for more information.

Radiation Dosage Chart A





















At our office, we recommend a full set of x-rays every 3 years and annual bitewing x-rays so that we can properly diagnose problems and prevent them from getting worse.

As always, let your dentist know if you are pregnant, nursing or have been advised by your doctor not to have x-rays taken. Otherwise, know that you can always ask questions to the Hygienist or Dentist if you have any concerns or reservations at all. We want you to feel comfortable with your treatment at our office.