Dental X-Rays Are Safe & Necessary for Your Oral Health

Dental X-rays are a safe and are an essential diagnostic tool for early detection of your oral health problems. There is no substitute for the information X-rays provide about the integrity of your restorations, as well as the status of any tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, infections, and even some types of tumors. Many Oral conditions can only be identified through an X-ray.

The benefits of getting early treatment based on an accurate X-ray diagnosis far outweigh any potential risks. When X-rays are necessary, you will only receive them once all appropriate safeguards are in place. Not to mention, new advances in technology have drastically reduced radiation exposure. To put it into perspective, the average annual radiation dosage per person in the U.S. is 620 millirem (mrem), including 350 mrem from cosmic radiation, like the sun. The amount received from one single dental X-ray is about 3 mrem. By comparison, a mammogram is about 500 mrem.

We all have very small amounts of naturally occurring radioactive materials in our bodies. In fact, you receive about 2 mrem a year just from sleeping next to someone. The amount of exposure from dental X-rays is very small, but the long term health benefits are immeasurable.

Some different types of dental X-rays are bitewing X-rays, which deliver a low dose of radiation can reveal cavities between the teeth and bone loss. Periapical X-rays, which capture images of the whole tooth to its root. They can reveal an abscess caused by an infection or root caries, which are lesions at the bottom of the tooth.  Panoramic X-rays, provide detail image of all of the teeth and underlying bones in a single X-ray that is usually used to view the jaw bone and wisdom teeth. These are areas the dentist cannot inspect visually without an X-ray. Dental cone-beam (CBCT) scans provide a 3-D X-ray image of the teeth, root, and jaw. CBCT scans are sometimes used when placing dental implants.

If you have any concerns about dental x-rays or if you have any questions about your dental care, please give us a call. 602-863-3000