Dental X-Rays

Question:  How often should I have dental X-Rays?

Answer:  X-rays are an important tool dentists use to diagnose problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, bone infections, and other dental diseases that cannot be detected by routine oral examination. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease you may be experiencing. Children typically require X-rays more frequently because their teeth and jaws are still developing. Because their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay, routine cavity detecting X-rays should be taken once a year. For adults with a previous history of tooth decay or gum disease, yearly X-rays are recommended to check for new cavities, evaluate the condition of existing fillings and crowns, and monitor the condition of the bone that supports the teeth. For patients with no prior history of tooth decay or gum disease, X-rays may be taken less frequently – perhaps every two to three years. But remember, every patient is different. Your dentist should prescribe a plan that is appropriate for you.