We often get patient questions regarding the use of X-rays. Are they really necessary? Is there risk of radiation exposure? The truth is, it is good to ask questions! A good dentist will always take the time to discuss your concerns and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Dental X-rays are an important part of recommending an effective treatment plan for patients. An X-ray can help diagnose disease and other problems that may not be visible during a regular exam. Don’t forget, our teeth and gums are full of nooks and crannies and have the sneaky ability to hide things on us that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Yes, X-rays do omit a small amount of radiation. However, with today’s technology, X-ray equipment releases far less radiation than it did years ago. In fact, according to a recent article on dentalplanet.com, a full series of 18 dental X-rays has 20 times less radiation than just one year of the normal background radiation we are exposed to every day from our environment. Dental X-rays also omit less radiation than taking a flight from NY to Los Angeles.
Ready to cancel your next business trip or vacation? Probably not. In the spring of 2012, dental X-rays made headlines after a cancer journal linked them with an increased risk of meningioma. As a result, the national news media picked up and ran with the story. Unfortunately, what wasn’t reported was that many of the participants in the study received their X-rays many years ago, when the risk was much higher.
So be sure to get all of the facts before your decline your next scheduled X-ray and open yourself up to other health risks such as impacted teeth, bone loss from periodontal disease, hidden decay, tumors and more. Most importantly, be sure to keep asking us questions! We are here to help!
Check out these articles for more information on X-rays and the risk of radiation exposure:
OSHA For Dentistry – Is Radiation Exposure from Dental X-Rays a “Real” Health Threat? Setting the Record Straight. (http://www.oshafordentistry.com/is-radiation-exposure-from-dental-x-rays-a-real-health-threat)
ADA, Healthy Mouth – X-rays (http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x/x-rays.aspx)
DentalPlanet.com – [Infographic] -Understanding today’s dental radiation exposures by real-life comparisons (http://www.dentalplanet.com/blog/2013/01/infographic-understanding-todays-dental-radiation-exposures-by-real-life-comparisons/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EMAIL-JAN16-Radiation_Infographic&utm_content=EMAIL-JAN16-Radiation_Infographic+CID_4e8f22f0961e5aa49ce25d65793897ed&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=View%20our%20full%20article%20and%20infographic%20online)