The hygienist recommended x-rays for my teenager, but I’m reluctant to allow that. Can’t you see cavities visually?
We understand the concern, but digital x-rays are ultra low dose images, and allow us to see developing cavities long before they are visible to one’s eye alone.
Once you become aware of a cavity, either through a hole appearing in a tooth, or sensitivity, it may be more difficult to treat, so digital xrays allow more conservative treatment, often avoiding a root canal or crown or similar additional expense. We take the minimum images consistent with sound diagnosis, and don’t take them at every visit. Patients who have demonstrated excellent oral hygiene and no cavities over a period of some years may have x-rays taken only once every 5 years or more. We don’t have a one size fits all approach to x-rays, but rather, determine a proper interval for each patient.