How Often Do I Need a Dental X-ray?

dental x-ray

Since their discovery, X-rays have revolutionized the medical and scientific research industry. They allow doctors to look inside the body noninvasively and provide wholesome health care. They helped researchers observe the DNA molecule and discover the double helix.

Regarding medical care, almost every discipline uses X-rays as a diagnostic tool. In dental care, it is used similarly. Most patients require regular X-rays for the dentist to track their oral health. How often the patients get X-rays depends on their dental history and oral health.

How Often Should You Get Dental X-rays?

The best answer to this question is that it depends on several factors. For instance, a man in his forties will not need that many X-rays compared to a 20-year-old with poor oral habits. Here are some of the conditions that dictate how often you need X-rays.

High Cavity Risk

If you are at higher cavity risk, you will need X-rays during almost every dental visit. Some people take care of their teeth but still develop cavities, while others take minimal care and are okay. Despite these two exceptions, most people with high cavity risks do not maintain regular dental hygiene.

If you fall under this category, the dentist will require X-rays to help them observe beneath your enamel. X-rays allow the dentist to keep track of any developing cavities and any new ones. They can also tell a lot about any fillings and implants you have.

Gum Disease

You will need frequent dental X-rays if you have gum disease, especially with advanced periodontitis. Periodontal disease attacks the structures that support the teeth in the jaw. The dentist uses X-rays to see how much the disease has progressed and know what steps to take in treatment.

X-rays help the dentist see what structures have been damaged by the disease. They also work as a reference point when the dentist is performing restorative treatments. Specifically, the X-rays work as a map for the underlying structures.

Other Factors That Determine X-Rays

Age is another determining factor in how often you need dental X-rays. Here are some age groups and how often they need dental X-rays.


If an adult has had many dental procedures such as implants, bridges, and fillings, they may need dental X-rays more often. The dentist will use X-rays to check if any cavities or decay are forming underneath.

If you have a high-sugar diet, you will require dental X-rays more often. If this is the case, you may need X-rays every six to eighteen months. But if you have a less sugary diet, you will need X-rays every 24 to 36 months.

Children and Teens

A child who eats many sugary treats or has had fillings may need X-rays twice or once a year. When your child is below 12 and has not had fillings, they may only need the X-rays once a year or every two years. As they grow into their teens, they will need X-rays every one-and-a-half years to three years.

For more on how often you need dental X-rays, visit Midtown Dental Center at our office in Atlanta, Georgia. Call (404) 874-0800​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ to book an appointment today

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