The risk of a single dental x-ray is very small. However, some studies show a slight increase in cancer risk, even at low levels of radiation exposure, particularly in children. To be safe, we do our best to keep radiation exposure as low as possible. In perspective, a single digital dental x-ray has 0.1 mrem of radiation and a set of 4 bite wings has 0.4 mrem.
The amount of radiation received from a dental x-ray is so low that it is very unlikely to result in measurable risk. Dose reconstructions using techniques commonly used during the last decades of the last century show that brain exposure from 4 bites is approximately 0.07 mGy, and from a panoramic examination, approximately 0.02 mGy. A full-mouth exam (usually consisting of 12 periapical exposures and 4 bite exposures) produces a brain dose of approximately 0.24 mGy. Comparison of the effective radiation dose of various dental and medical imaging procedures with natural background radiation (* adapted NCRP reference report No.
177 and Image Gently). If you are a new patient, you may be asked for dental x-rays to determine your oral health and have a reference point to identify changes that may occur later. Dentists quickly realize that there are multiple sources of radiation in your daily life that expose you to higher levels, for a year, than a dental x-ray. In addition, there is no need to delay dental x-rays if you are trying to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
To put dental x-rays into perspective, let's compare them with other environmental radiation sources. X-rays are a very common dental procedure that allows the dentist to see under the gums, including in the bones, the roots of the teeth, and through the tooth enamel. Basically, while dental x-rays expose you to some radiation, the benefits of having them outweigh the risks. When it comes to dental health, it's always simpler, less costly, and less painful to detect these problems early.
So, you may be wondering if dental x-rays are safe. The short answer is: “Yes, dental x-rays are safe and often extremely beneficial to oral health. You should first talk to your dentist to discuss any concerns or questions related to dental x-ray examinations. Just to be clear, Ria Family Dental will explain how much radiation is in an x-ray, who needs a dental x-ray, and who might not want to have a dental x-ray.
Stephen Matteson, research professor at the school of dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Some dental offices have a separate room for x-rays, while others perform them in the same room as cleanings and other procedures. The radiation used for dental x-rays was compared to the amount of background radiation a person receives on a daily basis to help you understand the amount of radiation given during the dental x-ray exam. There are different types of dental x-rays that can be taken with the receiver (film, sensor, or plate) inside the mouth, called intraoral x-rays, or outside the mouth, called extraoral x-rays.
The dentist may need to diagnose a problem that is causing pain or determine the structure of the mouth in order to perform dental treatment.