You may have heard some questions in the media about how often you need to have your teeth X-rayed. Here’s Apple Tree Dental’s policy and why we X-ray your teeth only when it’s necessary.
Dental X-rays provide oral health professionals important diagnostic information that cannot be obtained through a visual dental examination only. Apple Tree Dental’s oral health providers base their recommendations for dental X-ray examination based on each patient’s unique circumstances and dental health concerns. When determining the frequency of x-ray examination, our providers follow the most recent (2012) guidelines of the American Dental Association, in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In all cases, recommendations to X-ray one or more teeth are based on clinical need, rather than any predetermined frequency. There is no “one size fits all” interval in which dental X-rays are to be taken.
Factors taken into consideration when recommending dental X-rays include the condition of the teeth, the presence of dental disease such as tooth decay, dental abscesses or periodontal disease, the patient’s age (child, adolescent, adult) as it affects tooth eruption and development patterns, as well as general health influences. Apple Tree’s dental professionals are very good at explaining the rationale for recommended X-rays and answering patients’ questions. Ultimately, decisions are made by patients after consulting with their provider.
Apple Tree Dental takes pride in its commitment to reduce radiation exposure to patients. Our clinical staff receive thorough training on radiation safety and imaging techniques to limit radiation exposure, following the “As Low as Reasonably Achievable” principles. Although not required, Apple Tree has lead equivalent aprons that patients can request the use of during the radiographic examination. Apple Tree uses up-to-date digital X-ray equipment that significantly reduces radiation exposure as compared to conventional dental X-ray film techniques. Our radiographic equipment is kept in great repair and is inspected at the recommended time intervals, ensuring that radiation doses are well below the allowable radiation limits.