Dental X-Rays: Get the Facts
One of the biggest concerns raised by dental patients is whether or not dental x-rays are a safe and necessary component of their regular check ups. Some patients worry about their exposure to radiation levels and if the benefits of dental x-rays really outweigh the risks. However, Dr. E wants to reassure patients that x-rays are, indeed, a very safe and useful diagnostic tool. So, just as patients brush and floss regularly – at least that’s what they tell Dr. E — they should also have their dental x-rays taken regularly. Here’s why…
Dental x-rays are VERY low risk!
The truth is, patients are exposed to very low doses of radiation during dental x-rays. In fact, the level is comparable to the amount of radiation that airplane passengers experience from unfiltered sunrays during a transatlantic flight. This level is also a fraction of what patients are typically exposed to during other common medical imaging procedures
Dentists take SO many precautions.
The majority of dentists take as many measures as possible to ensure that their patients’ exposure to radiation is limited during x-rays. They utilize lead aprons and collars to protect the body and abide by something called the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Possible) to limit radiation levels, as set forth by the International Commission on Radiologic Protection.
The benefits FAR outweigh the risks.
X-rays help dentists identify serious issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye during dental exams. They use x-rays to pinpoint cavities, get a full view of tooth roots, assess the severity of periodontal disease, check the progress of developing teeth, and even to detect very serious issues such as oral cancer. Dental x-rays can also be used effectively as a baseline for new patients to check for any developing issues that may need to be addressed over time to maintain oral (and overall) health..
New and improved SAFER x-ray technologies are available.
Today, digital alternatives to traditional x-rays offer patients as much as an 80% reduction in radiation and eliminate the need for film processing chemicals. Digital radiography allows dentists to highlight potential problem areas on a computer screen, giving dentists and patients a better view and understanding of their dental issues, needs, and potential treatments. It’s a safer and more thorough approach… and one that is proudly offered by Dr. E and her team at Dr. E Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.
Hopefully, the above tips help provide patients with reassurance about the safety of dental x-rays as well as a better understanding of their role as an important tool for dentists in keeping oral health on track. That said, Dr. E encourages current and prospective patients to contact her office at any time with dental x-ray questions or concerns: www.drefamilydental.com/contacts/