Dental x-rays are an extremely common procedure and are considered safe. Digital dental x-rays use a very low amount of radiation and this is much less than is used for many other similar procedures at hospitals. If you are worried about x-rays and the potential health risks they pose, then we hope this blog puts those fears to rest. As a comparison, when an x-ray at the dentist is performed properly, with safety precautions, you are exposed to as much radiation as you would experience on a 1 – 2 hour airplane trip.
Why do I need x-rays?
Dental x-rays are a great tool for any dentist, since it allows them to diagnose issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Some of the issues that the dentist is looking for are,
- Decay between teeth or under fillings
- Bone loss caused by gum disease
- Abscess, this is an infection at the root of your tooth
- Changes in the root canal
Without x-rays these problems would be difficult to diagnose. The x-rays help dentists prepare treatments, as well as better create dentures, braces, etc.
X-rays and Children
Parents are often the most concerned about the effects of x-rays on their children. While it is true that children are more sensitive to radiation, the amount used in x-rays is considered safe. They are import since children’s teeth are changing continuously. The dentist wants to keep an eye on the development, to help prevent issues before they happen. With the help of x-rays, the dentist will be able to gather information on,
- Is the Child’s mouth large enough to hold all the growing teeth
- See the development of wisdom teeth
- Identify gum disease or decay early
X-rays and pregnancy
Although the amount of radiation is small, it is generally advised for pregnant women to avoid x-rays. It is best that the developing baby avoids all exposure to radiation if possible. Always let the dentist know that you are pregnant. However if there was a dental emergency or you were in the middle of a procedure, you should talk to the dentist about possible options. It could be necessary for you to have a x-rays taken, and extra precautions can be taken to make the procedure safe.
The frequency of dental x-rays depends on many different factors, including age, oral health, symptoms, etc. your dentist will determine when they are needed and if you have concerns about x-ray discuss these with your dentist. X-rays are an amazing tool and offer many great benefits. They are considered perfectly safe and can increase your oral health.