If you visit your dentist every six months for a regular check-up or teeth cleaning, you’ve probably experienced a dental X-ray before. You’ve likely donning the heavy protective cover, getting up close and personal with a large X-ray machine designed specifically for your mouth.

But, you might wonder, you’re an adult, so why do you still need regular X-rays?

a dentist inspecting a set a dental x-rays of a patient

What a Dental X-ray Does

During most of your regular check-ups, Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins can spot any irregularities in your mouth, administering treatment and offering recommendations so you can adjust and fix problems before they begin. Prevention is always favorable to intervention, which is why regular check-ups and teeth cleanings are so important.

The naked eye can’t catch everything happening in your mouth. It’s full of nooks and crannies, and it’s hard to spot any issues that might be hiding between or within your teeth. That’s where the X-ray comes in.

X-rays can show us a variety of things that we can’t see regularly: tooth decay, especially between the teeth; issues with dental fillings; bone loss, which may be an indicator of gum disease; and infection. We will also take X-rays to determine the status of wisdom teeth; whether they’re growing normally, whether they’re impacted and to recommend when you should have them extracted. X-rays can also identify tumors or cysts.

How often you get a dental X-ray depends on your age and your oral health status. Children will typically need a dental X-ray once every year, while adults with great oral health can typically push it to two years between an X-ray. If you have oral health issues, such as gingivitis, or you’re susceptible to dental caries, we may recommend more frequent X-rays.

Dental Anxiety and X-rays

Dental anxiety is common, especially among children. While a dental X-ray is not at all painful (the machine itself will not touch you), regular dental anxiety plus a large machine can create a stressful situation.

As we perform the X-ray, we will talk through everything with you or your child to prevent surprises. While dental X-rays, like all X-rays, involve radiation, the levels are so low that they’re considered safe for children and adults. Digital X-ray machines, like the ones in our Spokane Valley office, expose patients to even less radiation than traditional film machines.

Our practice is committed to family dentistry, so if your child experiences dental anxiety, we create a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment to help put you and your child’s minds at ease. Plus, because we treat patients of all ages, your child can build a relationship with us and know there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes time for their regular check-up.

Time for an X-ray

If you’re in need of a regular dental check-up, you have questions about your oral health or if your family is searching for a comfortable setting for a child with dental anxiety, Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Spokane Valley is the office for you.

Family dentists Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins can answer any questions you or your child might have, and are dedicated to helping you achieve the best oral health possible. To schedule an appointment today, please call (509) 927-2273 today, or send us an email.