There are everyday risks that we try to limit in society. The risk of driving or the long term risk of eating sweets. One risk that remains unavoidable is radiation. Using a cellular phone, traveling in a plane, or even being in the United States Capitol presents us with exposure to radiation. So it is very logical that when people ask, “Are dental x-rays safe?”
Dental radiographs (x-rays) are taken annually, biannually, or when there is a condition or treatment procedure that requires an in-depth view. Dental radiographs are two dimensional images of the extra oral and intra oral area. And are necessary to view caries (cavities), bone loss, masses, or cysts. A common type of x-rays taken to review intraoral conditions is called a bitewing set. X-rays are measured in health by a unit called mrem (roentgen equivalent man). Essentially, mrem relates X-rays to the body;
The limit for the general public per year is 100 mrem. Occupation and medical limits are above 5000 mrem. Dental X-rays in the form of a set of bitewings presents an individual with 0.5 mrem. Flying in a plane presents an individual with about 3.5 mrem in comparison. There are a number of other sources for mrem like eating bananas, sun exposure, smoking, having a smoke detector in the house. And these other sources have a comparable level of radiation to a single set of dental xrays.
At Museum Smiles, we use a lead apron shield and thyroid collar to protect vital organs and the thyroid from any exposure. Xrays are taken with a device known as the nomad which is quicker, thus reducing radiation. We discuss the process of taking X-rays with patients to alleviate any discomfort or fear. When a patient is pregnant, we follow the obstetrician/gynecologist’s recommendation for dental radiographs.
So to answer the question, “are dental X-rays safe?” The answer is yes. When they are taken by properly trained dental staff, they are safe. We follow standards by the American Dental Association to ensure that the radiation levels are as low as reasonable achievable.
Contact us to schedule a dental consultation. We can discuss your dental concerns and present you with your dental images, not limited to radiographs. Our office is located a few minutes from downtown Fort Worth, off West 7th and within walking distance of Fort Worth museums. If you live in Arlington, Keller, or Fort Worth, and need to see a Fort Worth Dentist, call us at 817 870 5099.