As your trusted dentist in Framingham, your health and safety are our number one concern. Some patients have questions about the use of dental x-rays — like, are they really safe? Isn’t radiation bad? Is there any other way you can get a closer look at my teeth?
Well, to answer those questions one by one:
- Yes, dental x-rays are safe. We wouldn’t recommend anything for you and your loved ones that wasn’t proven effective and completely safe for healthy people.
- Radiation is harmful in high doses — but dental x-rays produce the lowest dose of radiation of any medical imaging.
- And no, there’s not really any other way to see beneath the visible surface of the tooth to check for serious issues like tooth decay, failing dental work, and even oral cancer.
Want to know even more about dental x-rays, and why modern dental practices can’t do without them? Keep reading for the 411 on x-ray technology.
Low Radiation in Dental X-Rays
We understand when patients want to make the best decisions for their overall health and wellbeing. Radiation can be a real concern, especially for children, as it builds up in the body over time. But when it comes to dental x-rays, there is really no need to worry. They have one of the lowest doses of radiation of all types of medical imaging.
According to Xrayrisk.com, a group dedicated to the safe practice of medical imaging, getting four bitewings performed at the end of a checkup and cleaning produces just about the same amount of radiation as you’ll get throughout the normal course of your day. That’s what we call “background radiation.”
To help reduce the effects of potential radiation exposure, your dental technician will be sure to cover you up with a special shield — especially if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.
Why We Recommend Annual X-Rays
Outside of special circumstances, our team recommends patients of all ages have a set of x-rays taken annually. Given their very, very low rate of radiation exposure, it’s clear that the benefits of regular x-rays make them worth it.
With x-rays, we can check for…
- Tooth decay between teeth or on the tooth’s root
- Broken, leaking, or otherwise malfunctioning dental work
- Extra (or missing) teeth beneath the gum line
- Oral cancer
- And other health hazards that could escape the naked eye
In conclusion, dental x-rays don’t produce that much radiation compared to what you’d receive normally without even thinking about it — and their benefits are significant. So next time your dentist suggests taking x-rays, there’s no need to worry! Feel free to sit back, relax, and continue on your path toward lasting oral health.
About the Authors
Dr. Mark Fried, Dr. Julie Werman, and Dr. Sarah Shih provide comprehensive dental care for friends and neighbors in and around Framingham. To learn more about our comprehensive services or to schedule an appointment for you or someone you love, you are invited to contact the office at (508) 872-9339.