Are X-rays safe? Understanding Dental Radiation…
We have all heard of the alarming radiation study results reported by our national news coverage recently, and thankfully most of these have been updated with relevant facts to put our worries at ease. But many reports fail to mention that these reported cases of brain damage were many years old when all x-ray procedures delivered much higher radiation exposure compared to today. X-rays should never be taken without need, but proper findings from OSHA and other regulatory commitees will help put things in prespective.
- A full series of 18 dental X-rays has 27 times less radiation than a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series and 20 times less radiation than one year of normal background radiation from the environment.
- The 4 bitewing X-rays taken during dental check ups have 79 times less radiation than a year of normal background radiation.
- Further, as more and more dentists are using special high-speed film, thyroid collars and digital X-rays machines, dental X-rays are becoming even safer.
Declining dental X-rays based on unfounded an unuspported fears regarding radiation exposure removes an important diagnostic tool from a dentist’s repertoire. X-rays are an essential diagnostic tool with dentists relying on them for:
- exposing hidden dental decay and/or gum disease
- revealing dental abscesses, cysts and tumors
- showing impacted or extra teeth
- determining the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals
- locating tarter build-up,finding foreign bodies within the gum or bone
- identifying bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease and whether enough bone for dental implant placements, etc..
Again, it is worth noting that ONLY the necessary dental x-rays should be taken and it is imperative to discuss your concers about dental radiation with your dentist.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Keep Smiling….