The safety of dental x-rays has been long debated. It is not uncommon for patients to try to avoid getting dental x-rays due to fear of being exposed to radiation. If you are amongst these patients, this article is for you!
Dental x-rays are frequently used by dentists to help assess the condition of a patient’s oral health. They are essential in determining if there are any issues in the gums and teeth below the surface. The majority of patients will have dental x-rays done annually to check that everything in the mouth is up to date. However, if you suffer from gum diseases, oral infections, or other recurring problems, you might be asked to have x-rays done more frequently.
How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are considered extremely safe. The main concern behind the safety of dental x-rays is the exposure to radiation. We are happy to let you that when performed properly, these procedures give off very light levels of radiation. There have been many improvements made to dental x-ray equipment throughout the years that have substantially improved the safety level of the procedure.
Safety Precautions During Dental X-Rays
In addition to the technological improvements to the machines, there are also various steps that dentists can take to protect you during your procedure.
Reduce Number of X-ray Images
Here, at Alluvial Dental, we try to minimize the number of images we take for each patient. We have been successful at accomplishing this by being proactive in addressing the oral health needs of our patients. We strive to only take one dental x-ray image rather than several when we are able to do so. This reduces the chances of exposure significantly.
Use Lowest Level of Radiation Setting on Equipment
Another step is to use the lowest level of radiation on the equipment when possible. This is a step that is particularly important for children. Children have dental x-ray procedures performed more often due to the fact that their adult teeth are growing in and their mouths are constantly changing.
Use Lead Apron Covering
Last, but certainly not least, your dentist should always use a leaded covering to protect other parts of your body during your dental x-rays. Lead aprons block the radiation before it is able to enter other parts of your body. This means that your internal organs will avoid exposure without hindering the results of your x-ray procedure.
All these safety precautions will help minimize the already light levels of radiation of dental x-rays. We want to empower you to be knowledgeable about your health when it comes to any procedure you undergo at our office. If you have any further questions about your dental x-ray exams, please do not hesitate to ask our team during your consultation. We are here to help, so contact us today!