Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays are a standard diagnostic procedure that’s considered highly safe.
Digital dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation, producing just a fraction of what you’re exposed to in one day of natural background radiation.
When these x-rays are performed correctly, there’s very little cause for concern.
A routine examination consists of four bitewing x-rays. This exposes you to roughly the same amount of radiation… This text opens a new tab to the X-Ray Risk website… you will experience during a short one to two-hour airplane flight.
So you may be wondering:
“What exactly is dental radiation used for?”
In this quick blog, you’ll learn:
- Who needs x-rays
- If it’s safe for children and pregnant women
- When it’s necessary
Let’s get started.
Who needs dental x-rays?
Dental x-rays… This text opens a new tab to the 123 Dentist website… are used diagnostically to help dentists detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam.
Adults receive dental x-rays so their dentists can better identify and treat various issues.
Using these x-rays, your dentist can see:
- Areas of decay, including those in between teeth or under a filling
- Bone loss associated with gum disease
- Abscesses, which are infections at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gum
- Changes in the root canal
Without an x-ray, many of these problems could go undiagnosed.
With an x-ray as a reference, dentists are also better equipped to prepare tooth implants, dentures, and other similar treatments.
Are dental x-rays safe for children?
Many parents are concerned about the impact of dental x-rays on children as they are more sensitive to radiation.
The amount of radiation in a dental x-ray is still considered safe for a child.
Younger patients may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing.
Their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than adults.
These x-rays help dentists to:
- Ensure the mouth is large enough to accommodate incoming teeth
- Monitor the development of wisdom teeth
- Determine whether primary teeth are loosening properly to accommodate new permanent teeth
- Identify decay and gum disease early
It’s essential for children to visit the dentist regularly and get x-rays recommended by their dentist.
The exact schedule for these x-rays will vary depending on the child’s individual needs.
Are dental x-rays safe for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid dental x-rays.
Though the radiation is minimal:
It’s best to avoid all exposure when possible for the health of the developing fetus.
For this reason, it’s important to tell your dentist if you are or may be pregnant.
There are some instances where pregnant women should still have dental x-rays performed.
If you have a dental emergency or are in the middle of a dental treatment plan, you may still need x-rays during your pregnancy.
Discuss the issue with your dentist to determine the best way to proceed.
It’s crucial that you balance both your dental and prenatal health.
Women with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, so you shouldn’t neglect your teeth during pregnancy.… This text opens a new tab to the 123 Dentist website…
If your dentist deems an x-ray necessary, they’ll follow certain precautions to keep you and your baby safe.
Keeping your dentist informed at all times is the best way to proceed.
Determining whether x-rays are necessary
If you have x-rays from a previous dentist, make sure to transfer these to any new provider to eliminate the need for repeat procedures.
Your dentist will evaluate if dental radiation is necessary based on your:
- Stage of dental development
- History of oral health
- Risk factors for various conditions
- Presenting symptoms
Dental x-rays are considered extremely safe.
Don’t hesitate to discuss the need for dental x-rays with your dentist to better understand how they can help protect and improve your oral health.
Want to experience stress-free dental x-rays with experts?
If you need dental x-rays done, don’t hesitate to make your appointment to see us!
Schedule your appointment now.
Neighborhood Dental Care is located in South Dakota… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website… including Sioux Falls, Harrisburg, Tea, Beresford, and Yankton. We happily welcome patients from all over.