How many X-Rays are too many?
Dental X-Rays are necessary for the dentist and the patient to find and locate tooth decay, gum disease and other problems that might be under the surface that would be harder if not possibly missed by the conventional methods used by dentists. The overall benefit should bring a peace of mind to the patient. But how many dental x-rays are too many? That’s a seemingly simple, yet complicated, question and, unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer. There are many factors to consider. For example, your age, how much work has been done, especially recently. This can help your dentist to identify problems such as;
These are just a few of the many of factors that go into this decision. The dentist’s decision to take an X-ray “always has to be patient-specific and risk-based,” explains Dr. Susan Sutherland, chief of dentistry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This is a guide-based decision that every dentist should consider. The patient’s oral health is important but will it risk their overall health with another X-Ray? She explains that, “It is our job and our duty to do X-Rays as little as reasonably possible.”
There are general guidelines established by the American Dental Association (ADA) when it comes to when and how many X-Rays are performed. This is to help establish a guideline for dentists for the overall health of their patients. But, to be clear, not all patients are the same and neither is their oral care.