Brunette woman listens to her dentist as he points at her dental X-rays and discusses her oral health

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

October 26, 2020 8:00 am | Published by

Radiography is a form of X-ray technology that provides visualization of internal body structures, such as the chest, bones, and teeth. X-ray images help healthcare professionals to detect and treat structural damage, disease, and foreign objects.

When it comes to X-rays of the oral cavity, patients are sometimes concerned about being exposed to radiation, which is classed as a carcinogen. A carcinogen has the potential to cause cell damage and abnormal cell growth, called cancer.

In this blog post, we discuss the safety and benefits of dental X-rays.

Radiation Exposure From Dental X-Rays

Digital dental X-rays do emit a very small amount of radiation. However, the benefits of having the images for diagnostic purposes usually outweighs the relatively low risk of a negative outcome from the radiation exposure. Additionally, digital X-rays efficiently capture high-quality digital images, while emitting up to 90% less radiation than outdated traditional X-rays.

It is generally safe to come in contact with X-rays on an infrequent basis, like the once or twice per year during your regular dental exam. The amount of radiation exposure from an X-ray is so small, in fact, that it is likely that you come in contact with more radiation during your day-to-day routine than you do in the dental chair. Examples of natural radiation sources include the sun, space, and elements in the earth’s soil.

Benefits of X-Ray Images

X-ray images, which show the internal structures of your teeth and jaw, allow your dentist to get a much clearer picture of your oral health. Dental X-rays help dental professional detect anomalies, decay and cavities, problematic wisdom teeth, and other forms of dental problems and disease. This information enhances their ability to create a custom treatment plan catered to your unique needs.

Safety Precautions

Lead can block radiation so those who desire X-rays can wear a lead apron and/or collar for extra protection during the imaging process.

The reason that a dentist or hygienist may leave the room when dental X-rays are being taken is because they are taking X-rays multiple times a day many days a week, and they want to avoid receiving too much radiation exposure. X-ray technicians in other healthcare settings, such as a hospital, take similar precautions.

Please note that X-rays are not always recommended for pregnant women and other patients with certain health conditions. Discuss any medical conditions with your provider so they can help you determine if you should receive X-rays.

Your Safety Is Important to Us!

At Vista Ridge Family Dentistry, your family dentist in Cedar Park, TX, your safety and health are our priorities. We recommend procedures, including X-rays, when medically necessary and take every safety precaution. Digital X-rays and panoramic X-rays give us a more comprehensive understanding of your teeth and jaw. These images, along with our clinical examination, allow us to create the best treatment plan possible.

If you feel uncomfortable about X-rays or any other recommended procedure, please consult with our team! We want you to feel confident about your healthcare decisions. Contact us today.

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