Are dental x-rays safe?

Are dental x-rays safe?

Many people have been concerned and asked if  us “Are dental x-rays safe?”The safety of dental x-rays has been discussed for a long time. It’s not uncommon for patients to try to avoid getting dental x-rays due to fear of being exposed to radiation. If you are amongst these patients, this article is for you!

One of the most common things done at a routine dental visit is having x-rays. X-rays allow the dentist detect damage and disease affecting the roots and bones of your mouth, and to look for any possible cavities. A majority of patients will have dental x-rays done annually to ensure that everything in the mouth is healthy.

How safe are dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are considered extremely safe. The main concern behind the safety is the exposure to radiation. Dental x-rays give off very light levels of radiation. There has been many improvements made to dental x-ray equipment throughout the years that have substantially improved the safety of the procedure.

The x-ray doses in the medical world are so small, they are measured in millirems, which is just one thousandth of a rem. Below are examples of amounts of radiation we’re exposed to in our everyday lives:

  • Digital dental x-ray averages 0.4 mrem.
  • Film dental x-ray averages 0.6-0.9 mrem
  • Airport scan is 0.001 mrem.
  • Eating a banana is 0.01 mrem.
  • Natural radiation in the human body is 0.04 mrem.
  • Average flight from New York to Los Angeles is 4 mrem.
  • Average chest x-ray is 10 mrem
  • Average mammogram is 40 mrem.
  • An average (full body) CT scan is 1000 mrem.

You can expect to be exposed to somewhere between 200-360 mrem throughout the year, far below the fatal level which is one million mrem.

What are some of the common safety practices for dental x-rays?

  • Reduce the number of x-ray images
  • Use lowest level of radiation setting on equipment
  • Use lead apron covering

Make an appointment with the Melissa and Plano Dentist at Haight Family Dentistry

When dental x-ray procedures are performed, patients get exposed to small doses of radiation. The dose is so small the benefits outweigh the harmful effects. Now that you better understand dental x-ray safety, there’s really no excuse to avoid the dentist. Contact Haight Family Dentistry in at our Plano or our Melissa, TX by calling 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online.