We recommend Bitewing x-rays twice a year for most children and teens, once a year for adults, and a Pano x-ray every 3-5 years for teens and adults. As the standard of care dictates and coupled with proper diagnosing technique, special and specific x-rays are needed before and after crowns and bridges and for focused (limited) exams of dental pain, swelling, inflammation, and sensitivity.
We don’t want to take any more x-rays than we have to, but please put things into perspective. If your MD orders a chest x-ray because your are having difficulty breathing, you would do it. A chest x-ray has 100 times more radiation than a set of common dental x-rays. That means you would not have the same cumulative radiation dose from dental x-rays for about 100 years (assuming you had the recommended once a year x-rays). An MRI or CAT scan has much more radiation than a simple chest x-ray.
If your previous dentist has taken recent x-rays, you may request that they forward them to our office–either copies, paper print out, or emailed. If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional x-rays are necessary, they can be taken at our facility.