Busting The Myths on the Risks of Dental X-Rays

Setting The Record Straight

It is true that dental x-rays expose an individual to doses of radiation. However, this very essential tool of dentistry emits only very low and negligible levels that are considered safe for children and adults. Risks are kept to a minimum and dental offices are required to practise safety precautions at all levels. For your concerns, find out what risks may be involved

Firstly, you might wonder if you need x-rays each time you go see your dentist. Frequent taking of x-rays may happen with some patients whose oral health condition requires it. If you are under treatment for an unstable oral condition, regular x-rays are needed to monitor the progress of the treatment and your response. However, if you are a healthy person and haven’t had cavities and other issues for a few years, you don’t need to have x-rays each time.

For most people, dental x-rays every 6 months or on a yearly basis, depending on your oral hygiene, is sufficient.

Is it better and safer to take traditional x-rays on film rather than digital x-rays? In fact, if your dentist uses digital X-rays instead of developing them on film, your risks from radiation exposure are even lower. In fact, as much as 90% reduction in exposure is assured with digital x-ray, and additionally, the results are sharper, clearer, and more precise. X-rays that are digital are quick to access, eco-friendly, and easier to keep as a record.

Pregnant women should never have dental x-rays. Though the process is safe for pregnant women, most patients who are pregnant or suspect to be pregnant would decline to have x-rays until after the pregnancy is over. However, there are situations when it may be necessary to have x-rays. Pregnancy increases the risk for gum disease and hence, radiography may be required. Your dentist will ask you to wear a lead apron that protects the abdomen, chest and pelvis. Know that there is no added risk for breastfeeding women.

Can frequent dental x-rays cause brain tumors? An article came out based on a 2012 study which dealt with dental X-rays and brain cancer, specifically meningioma which is a benign brain tumor. It points out that exposure to ionizing radiation is associated with an increased risk of brain tumors. However, experts said that on the contrary, more than 90% of such tumors are more directly related to medical, not dental, radiographs. More studies are thereby necessary to make causal conclusions.

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Know More About Safe Dental X-Rays in Bellevue

At Overlake Dental, rest assured that our patients necessitating x-rays are afforded the best safety precautions. Bellevue dentistry practices high-technology and safe radiography.