Ask a Dentist

November 14, 2019

Q: Why do I have to get x-rays at the dentist?

Dentist looking at dental x-rays on a monitor

Dental x-rays help your dentist see the hard-to-reach places around your teeth and make sure they’re healthy. X-rays use low levels of radiation to take a picture of the inside of your teeth and gums. Without x-rays, it would be difficult to see any small cavities or breaks forming between your teeth. 

Generally, dental x-rays are taken once a year but can happen more frequently if your dentist is tracking a problem. There are a few factors that affect how often you need x-rays, these include:

  • Age
  • Current oral health
  • Treatment plan
  • History of gum disease and tooth decay

Children may need more x-rays than adults because their teeth are still forming - your dentist may want to monitor how the adult teeth are developing and erupting. It is also used to prevent any complications that might arise, such as adult teeth growing in front or behind the baby teeth.

If you’re having your first dental appointment at the clinic, you’ll probably need x-rays, especially if you don’t have any transferred from your previous dental clinic. 

There is very little risk when getting dental x-rays. If your dentist uses digital x-rays, like we do at Dental Image Therapy Centres, there are even lower levels of radiation than using traditional film. To be on the safe side, your dentist will place a lead bib over your chest, abdomen and pelvic area to reduce levels even further. 

Dental x-rays help find potential and current problems with your oral health. If your dentist finds anything, they’ll discuss a treatment plan with you. If they don’t, then they’ll see you again in six months. If you haven’t had a dental checkup in the past 6 months, or have any more questions or concerns about dental x-rays, book an appointment today at either of our Winnipeg locations: St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre.

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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