Dental X-Rays are necessary to accurately diagnose your dental problems. A lot of dental problems occur under the gums where we can’t visibly see them. Also, with procedures such as root canals, X-Rays confirm that your treatment was successful. With technology dentists invest in, X-rays are the safest they have ever been. Four X-Rays use about the same amount of radiation that is in a normal banana.
Though small amounts of radiation pass through dental X-rays, offices still follow ALARA: “As Low As Reasonable Achievable” when performing any treatment.
There are a few different types of X-Rays that you’ll receive in a dental office, depending on your treatment.
Panoramic X-Rays: A 3D “panoramic” capture of your entire mouth, jaws, sinus cavities, and neck.
Bitewings: X-Rays that focus on the visible parts (crowns) of your teeth, to diagnose cavities, focused bone loss, and deep pockets around the gums.
Dentists investing in new and improved technology are using Nomad X-ray technology. Unlike the old bulky X-ray heads, Nomads are handheld and expose you to even less radiation than before.
Dental professionals take radiation seriously to limit your exposure to radiation. Every patient wears a lead vest for X-Rays.
It is important to let your dentist, hygienist, and assistant know of all of your medical changes, such as pregnancy. If you are pregnant, it is important to highly limit radiation or get permission from an OBYGN. Pregnant patients can still receive X-Ray treatment when wearing a thyroid and body lead vest to protect both the patient and fetus.
To learn about the precautions to children receiving X-rays, read: https://www.imagegently.org/Portals/6/Dental/IG14_DentalBrochure.pdf.