How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

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During a dental check up xrays are often part of the procedure and patients are sometimes concerned about how safe they are. The digital dental x-rays are a very low dose of radiation in comparison to other imaging procedures. Despite this some patients worry about the exposure and might be wondering if these x-rays are necessary and safe so a little investigation might set their mind at ease. If an x-ray is performed properly with adequate safety precautions in use there is very little cause for concern, in fact dental x-rays result in less exposure to radiation than a 2 hour flight on a plane.

How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

Why do we need dental x-rays?

Primarily useful as a diagnostic tool to help the dentist see issues that would otherwise be undetectable to the naked eye x-rays allow the dentist to identify and treat various issues including the following:

  • Areas of decay including those between teeth or under a filling.
  • Bone loss associated with gum disease
  • Abscesses which can be an infection at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum
  • Tumors
  • Changes in the root canal

Without x-rays a problem could go undiagnosed and result in a much bigger issue.

Dental x-rays and children

Parents sometimes are concerned about their children’s exposure to radiation when having dental x-rays. While children are more sensitive to radiation the amount is still considered safe for a child. The constant change a child’s jaw and teeth undergo make it essential  to keep a watchful eye on their development. These x-rays assist the dentist to observe the following:

  • Ensure the mouth is large enough to accommodate any incoming teeth.
  • Detect if primary teeth are loosening properly to make room for new permanent teeth.
  • Monitor the development of wisdom teeth.
  • Identify tooth decay and any signs of gum disease early.

Regular checkups are an important part of your child’s oral health and x-rays will be a part of that procedure as determined by your dentist.

Dental x-rays and pregnancy

Pregnant women are advised to avoid any exposure to radiation even though the amount in a dental x-ray is minimal. To protect the developing fetus if a woman is pregnant or thinks she could be it’s important to advise your dentist. Expectant mothers should be careful not to neglect their teeth during pregnancy and should x-rays be required the dentist can take extra precautions by using a lead apron and thyroid collar.

When it’s time for your next checkup give Proactive Dental Studio in Surrey BC a call to schedule your appointment today with one of their dentists in Surrey.