When you go to the dentist’s office, do you worry about the safety of dental X-rays? Many Hendricks County residents express concerns about their exposure to radiation from dental X-rays. The staff at Danville Family Dentistry wants to help alleviate some of your fears.
X-rays are an essential tool that Dr. Jon Erickson uses to help diagnose potential oral health issues in your mouth before they become bigger complications. X-rays can help him detect cavities, developmental abnormalities, bone loss, abscesses or cysts, and more. By finding and treating these problems early, you may be able to avoid pain and discomfort later as well as save money.
Safety of Dental X-rays: Less Radiation
Recent enhancements in X-ray technology and usage have helped improve the overall safety of dental X-rays.
- Lower radiation dose. We’re all exposed to natural radiation (3,000 to 4,000 micro-Sieverts) every year. By contrast, each intraoral X-ray taken inside your mouth exposes you to a dose of 8 to 9 micro-Sieverts, if your dentist is using either fast-speed film or digital imaging. If your dentist requires a panoramic X-ray, which shows all of your teeth in your upper and lower jaws, the dose of radiation is about 24 micro-Sieverts. As you can see, the overall amount of radiation you get from dental X-rays is relatively small compared to natural radiation exposure. However, it’s important to note that radiation exposure does accumulate over time.
- Limited radiation exposure. X-ray machines are well shielded. The radiation rays are limited to a small area (less than 3 inches in diameter).
- Reduced radiation with digital X-rays. Digital X-rays reduce radiation exposure by as much as 80% compared to traditional X-rays. Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County, uses digital X-rays as well as intraoral cameras.
- Use of lead aprons. Lead-lined, full-body aprons and neck protectors shield your body from radiation exposure.
- Regular safety inspections on X-ray machines. State health departments regularly check X-ray machines to make sure they’re working accurately and safely.
- Limited use of X-rays. Dr. Erickson only takes X-rays when he believes they’re necessary in making an accurate dental diagnosis.
The staff at Danville Family Dentistry doesn’t want you to worry about the safety of dental X-rays. If you still have questions about X-ray safety, talk with our Hendricks County staff. We can answer your questions about how often X-rays are needed and why they’re being taken.