Are Dental X-Rays Safe and How Often Is Safe?

Invaluable And Safe 

Dental x-rays are invaluable imaging tools for the dentist who can formulate the most suitable treatment plan for a patient based on the image results. You know it uses radiation and you have concerns about its safety. Find out how safe are dental x-rays and how often should you have them and still be safe.

Dental x-rays are considered safe and are very beneficial in dental health treatment. Though it involves the use of radiation, the exposure to it is minimal and the effects are insignificant. There are many studies that show they are safe for a wide variety of patients and conditions. In fact, the radiation from dental x-rays is not significantly different from the radiation most everybody encounters on a day to day basis. Radiation is all around us, under the sun, in airplanes, and even at home. 

Radiation you get from your dentist’s office is one of the lowest exposures you’ll ever experience. The amount of radiation is expressed in millisieverts (mSv). In the US, one millisievert is the average accumulated background radiation dose to an individual for one year, exclusive of radon. For a routine  exam, with four bitewings (a bitewing shows teeth above the gum line and the height of the bone between teeth), it’s about 0.005 mSv of radiation, which is less than one day of natural background radiation outside your home. It is also about the same amount from a one-to-two-hour plane flight.

How often do you need dental x-rays?

It depends on the specifics of your oral health. If you are at a high risk for tooth decay, every 6 months to12 months you might have x-rays until the decay is still present. Once you are no longer at high risk, x-rays can be done every year or two. Since their teeth and jaws are not as fully developed, children and teens may need X-rays more often than adults. 

What are the situations by which you might require a dental x-ray?

If you are a new patient, your dentist would need to be acquainted with your oral cavity and its structures, and set a baseline record. Hence, a dental x-ray record is essential. Or you might want to ask your former dentist to send your old x-ray records to your new dentist so that your previous oral history may be available to the new one. You may also need x-rays in the following situations: tooth decay, periodontal disease, abscess, tooth impaction, root canal treatment, orthodontic treatment,  implants, braces, dentures, and other dental procedures.


Safety First In Lynnwood Dentistry

When you agree to a dental procedure with us, rest assured that you will enjoy all the safety precautions here at Lynnwood Song Dental. That includes safe dental radiographs.