How often should x-rays be taken?

There are two standard screening x-rays that we recommend. Bitewings, where the patient bites on a tab, show decay between the back teeth that can’t be seen in the mouth. For most patients, we recommend these be taken once every year. They show great detail, and can diagnose decay long before it would ever become painful. Panoramic x-rays are more of a screening tool, and we take them once every five years. These x-rays show all of the teeth, the supporting bone, both jaws and the TMJ. They are also used in children to track the development of the adult teeth in the jaw.