Experts are Now Saying “Check with Dentist” for Yearly X-Rays

In years past, it was more or less considered a rule that you changed your oil every 3,000 miles, and your children got dental x-rays every year. Recently, however, more and more information is coming out that shows it’s not as simple as that.

There is no denying that dental x-rays are a crucial part of any dental health regimen, and when done responsibly, pose no danger (the amount of radiation is very small) and can help diagnose catastrophic future problems. What experts are beginning to question is the notion that everyone must follow the plan of getting scanned every year.

Now, some experts around the country, including professor emeritus at UCLA School of Dentistry Stuart White, are saying that decisions are to be made individually by your particular dentist.

Dentists are now recommended to follow the ALARA principle (as low as reasonably achievable). This could mean that dentists can call for a round collimation x-ray (the highest dose of radiation) because they have cause for concern, or it could mean that the dentist recommends skipping the yearly x-ray entirely because of your exemplary tooth care.

When it comes to children, their mouths are much more sensitive to radiation, yet at the same time, their mouths are still forming and growing, and it is critical to catch all issues quickly. Make sure you speak with your dentist and share any concerns you may have, and the two of you can come up with a plan that you are both comfortable with.