The Concern with Dental X-rays
Dental X-rays are commonly used for in-depth diagnoses, as these give dentists a more comprehensive look at a patient’s oral health. They are utilised to diagnose a variety of conditions including possible areas of decay unseen in a standard oral exam, bone loss due to gum disease, and tumours. In children, these can be used to determine if there’s any space for permanent teeth to grow into.
However, many people balk at the thought of having a dental X-ray, for fear that exposure to radiation may lead to cancer and other potentially life-threatening disorders. Hence, the question: is the amount of radiation one is exposed to Dental X-rays safe for my health?
Absolutely. Here’s why.
How Much Radiation Are You Exposed To During a Typical X-ray?
A typical dental X-ray exam using four bitewings emits a total of just 0.005mSv. This amount is barely equivalent to one day’s worth of natural (essentially solar) background radiation. In other words, it is roughly equal to the amount of radiation one is exposed to during a short flight running between one to two hours. Therefore, it does not pose any danger to your health.
How often to get a Dental X-Ray?
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can get a dental X-ray as frequently as you want. In teenagers and adults with good oral health, dental X-rays are only recommended every two or three years. Paediatric dentists, on the other hand, say that children can undergo X-rays every one to two years until the emergence of permanent teeth.
In people with signs of gum disease, dental X-rays are immediately called to check the severity of the condition.
Precautions are taken by dental professionals during Dental X-ray
Note that dental professionals take all the necessary precautions to ensure that patients are exposed to the lowest amount of radiation possible.
Got dental concerns? Talk to the dentists at Rockingham Dental.
Our dentists are on hand to give you expert advice for good oral health at any age. Book an appointment today.