Dental X-Rays and Safety

For several years now, people have been concerned with x-rays and the amount of radiation these devices subject patients to. While it is true that radiation is dangerous, and significant doses should be avoided, most x-rays do not emit enough radiation to be deemed unsafe. Also, there are times where x-rays are necessary for diagnosing a patient’s underlying condition. On top of that, for certain medical practices, like dentistry, x-rays are an essential and common tool.

Why Do Dentists Need to Use X-Rays?

As stated, x-rays are diagnostic tools, and in dentistry especially, imaging is crucial to the practice. While there are several things a dentist can do without x-rays, like cleanings, most diagnostic work requires the ability to see beneath the gum line and into the jawbones and root canals. The images produced by x-rays give a dentist a clear picture and understand of a patient’s oral health.

What Safety Precautions Are Taken?

As with any x-ray procedure, a dentist wants their patients to be safe. That is why most practices will provide patients with leaded vests and thyroid collars to protect against any radiation exposure. However, it should be noted that the radiation produced by dental x-rays is likely less than or equivalent to the amount you are exposed to in a two-hour plane ride, depending on the number of images. Also, many x-ray machines have adjustable radiation levels, and depending on the required imaging detail, your dentist might be willing to reduce the level.

Do Children Have to Get Dental X-Rays?

Obviously, no one has to be subjected to testing that they do not want, but when it comes to oral health and your child, dental x-rays are a vital tool. The rate of growth, change and development in your child’s mouth make imaging essential to proper dental care. The images collected by x-rays can help your child’s dentist determine treatment plans and even help them know when they should interfere with natural development.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Yes. While it is understandable to be concerned about radiation exposure, a dental x-ray does not produce enough radiation to cause you harm. X-rays, despite speculation to the contrary, are safe medical devices, especially dental units.

There are several reasons that x-rays are used in dental diagnostics, and each one is crucial to understanding and diagnosing oral health issues. However, if you are still not convinced that these devices are safe, then contact a local dentist to discuss your concerns further.

Resource: Dental Care

Apex, NC Family Dentist, Alliance Dentistry

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