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Are dental x-rays safe?


X-rays are a very common dental procedure that lets your dentist see deep beneath your gums, to the roots of your teeth, and through your tooth enamel.

But if you know anything about X-rays, you probably know they use radiation to achieve their results, and some people find this quite concerning.

As far as radiation is concerned, the amount which you are exposed to during a dental x-ray is minimal. There are multiple sources of radiation in your daily life that expose you to higher levels, over a year, than a dental X-ray.

In this month’s blog, the team at Ringmer Dental will explain to you how much radiation is in an X-ray, who needs a dental X-ray, and who might not want to get a dental X-ray.

Radiation-x-raysHow much radiation is in an X-ray?

To put dental X-rays into perspective, let’s compare them to other environmental sources of radiation.

For perspective, a single digital dental X-ray has 0.1mrem of radiation, and a set of 4 bitewings has 0.4mrem.

Compare that to:

  • Natural radiation from soil: 35mrem per year
  • Smoking cigarettes: 1,300mrem per year
  • Transcontinental flight: 2-4mrem
  • Drinking water: 5mrem per year
  • Using natural gas for heating and cooking: 9mrem per year
  • It’s pretty clear how low the level of radiation is, in a dental X-ray.

Basically, while dental X-rays expose you to some radiation, the benefits of having them performed outweigh the risks. Many dental problems are invisible to the naked eye, and X-rays let your dentist discover a range of problems in tooth enamel, gums, and tooth roots.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental X-ray tools and techniques have been honed over time to minimise the exposure to radiation.

Every protective tactic possible is taken to be sure that patients are safe.

Dental-x-rayWho Needs a Dental X-Ray?

Many people might need a dental X-ray. Your dentist may need to diagnose a problem that’s causing pain or to determine the structure of your mouth in order to place a dental implant.

Here are some problems that can be found using a dental X-ray:

  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Changes in a root canal.
  • Bone loss.
  • Tumours or growths.
  • Infections between the tooth and gums.

When it comes to dental health, it’s always simpler, less expensive, and less painful to catch these issues early.

Dental-x-ray-birthWho should NOT get X-rays?

If you are pregnant, you should avoid X-rays until after birth. This is to protect the health of the foetus, which is much more susceptible to radiation problems than grown adults.

The speed at which a foetus changes at the cellular and DNA level makes X-rays particularly dangerous. You should have regular dental check-ups during pregnancy. Just make sure your Ringmer Dental dentist knows about your condition.

At Ringmer Dental, we give comprehensive care that addresses short and long-term dental care needs. We provide an honest, judgment-free environment in which we practice convenient, comfortable, and conservative care.

For more information, give us a call on 01273 813898 and book your appointment now.