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How often do I need dental x-rays taken? [ video ]

Hi, it’s Dr. Shehan here from Dentists of Ivanhoe Central. Let’s talk about X-rays. If you go see the dentist for initial examination or for a specific problem like a broken tooth or a toothache, chances are that we’re gonna be taking some X-rays of your teeth. Now, these X-rays are really important for us to work out exactly what’s going on in your mouth.

X-rays gives us vital pieces of information that we can’t get by just looking in your mouth. Now normally, we will take our routine X-rays every couple of years. Now, for certain people who we believe are in the high risk category which are the people who have lots of fillings in their mouth or lots of holes in their mouth, we may need to take X-rays every six to 12 months.

Now, these X-rays can be taken quite easily in the dental chair while you’re sitting there. Now sometimes, we do have to send you off to a different radiology centre to take different X-rays done. For example, if you look at the screen back here, one of the big X-rays we take which shows up your wisdom teeth and jaw joints.

Generally, we have to send you off to a different place to get that done. Modern digital X-rays have very low radiation doses. So, if you wanna compare it, having one dental X-ray taken is equivalent to having or having the spending the day out in the sun or having a one-hours flight, let’s say, from Melbourne to Sydney.

Another way to compare the radiation dose is, one chest X-ray is equal to about 20 dental X-rays. So, you can say, the radiation dose is really, really low. Now, we often get pregnant women asking, is it safe to take dental X-ray? Now, what the latest research is telling us is that pregnant women shouldn’t delay any dental treatment because of the risk of radiation.

So, what we do here is, we will use a lead apron that will cover your neck and also cover your stomach as well and then take the necessary dental X-rays as long as we needed to provide the treatment for that pregnant lady. In summary, X-rays are essential, they have extremely low radiation doses, they’re easily accessible, and they’re crucial for us to be able to keep your mouth healthy and beautiful. Thank you for watching.