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E. The Truth About Dental X-Rays

Narrator: This is Science Today. How often are dental x-rays necessary? This question has sparked debate in the past but the general consensus is that full mouth dental x-rays are needed to give dentists useful, new information about their patients. But what exactly does that mean? Dr. Stuart White of the UCLA School of Dentistry explains.

White: If a patient comes in who has very good hygiene, very few or no cavities, no pain, no signs or symptoms of abnormalities and the dentist examines the patients and sees very clean oral cavity and no active disease, maybe no crowns or bridges, then maybe just bite wing radiographs are necessary and no other films that show the roots of the teeth.

Narrator: On the other hand, patients with crowns and bridges or a history of disease, such as periodontitis, need periodic, full mouth x-rays.

White: The key here is that just as every patient is different, the frequency in number of x-rays should vary accordingly to patient's needs. So the dentist should examine the patient and determine their specific, individual needs and then order accordingly.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.