Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

During your initial appointment at our practice, an oral examination will be conducted, and, in most cases, a series of dental radiographs will be taken to assess your oral health and formulate a treatment plan. It is understandable if you have concerns about the safety of dental radiographs. In the past, excessive utilization and radiation exposure were potential issues, however, contemporary radiographs are generally safe for patients, although a minor degree of risk still exists.

What are the Risks of Having Dental X-Rays?

It is important to note that all forms of radiography, including dental radiographs, involve some degree of radiation exposure, similar to that from everyday electronic devices such as televisions and smartphones. At Central Valley OMS, we prioritize the judicious use of dental radiographs, only utilizing them when necessary, and utilizing state-of-the-art imaging technology to minimize the number of radiographs needed while achieving high-quality images.

While extended exposure to dental radiographs over time may increase the likelihood of developing head, neck, or brain cancer, this occurrence is extremely rare. It is also worth considering that the amount of radiation exposure from everyday sources such as cell phones, microwaves, etc. is greater than that from dental radiographs. The benefits of dental radiographs far outweigh any associated risks.

 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Pregnant Women?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that dental radiographs can be safely performed during pregnancy if proper protective measures such as the use of a lead apron and a thyroid collar to shield the torso and neck from radiation are employed. If you have any concerns regarding treatment or radiography during pregnancy, including potential harm to your unborn child, it is recommended that you discuss the possibility of postponing oral surgery until after delivery with your healthcare provider or dentist.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Children?

The answer is affirmative, as long as radiography is performed in moderation. It is important for your dentist to periodically take dental radiographs to keep track of the development of the jawbone and teeth, to detect and address potential issues at an early stage. Radiography plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment planning of orthodontic issues and various dental problems in children and young adults. To ensure your child’s safety, a lead apron should be used, and only a minimal number of radiographs should be taken unless there is a specific issue requiring more comprehensive imaging.

How We Protect You During Dental X-Rays

At our practice, the objective is to minimize the use of dental radiographs and obtain the necessary images for a successful outcome in wisdom teeth removal or oral surgery. If recent radiographs have been taken, we will request copies rather than repeat the procedure unnecessarily. Accurate imaging is essential for performing surgical procedures with precision. To reduce radiation exposure, a lead apron will be provided to cover the torso, and a thyroid collar will be utilized to protect the thyroid gland.

When possible, we utilize digital 3D scanning technology which generates high-resolution images by capturing hundreds of images in a matter of seconds with a 360-degree rotation around the head, limiting exposure only to areas above the thyroid.

If you have concerns regarding the safety of dental radiographs our oral surgeons are available for consultation to address your questions and concerns.