Is It Safe to Get Dental X-rays?

by Douglas Liantonio (SU)

Dental X Rays - 360 Dental

Dental X-rays are a routine part of your checkup – but are they safe? At some point in life, most people have had dental X-rays. They are a common diagnostic tool that takes images of your teeth and gums, and allows your dentist to evaluate your oral health.

Radiation Levels

Dental X-rays are considered extremely safe for both children and adults. They use very low doses of radiation and produce only a fraction of the radiation that you’re exposed to in other imaging procedures. When performed properly using the appropriate safety precautions, dental X-rays will not hurt you. The only exception is pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant or might be pregnant should avoid all types of X-rays, since even the smallest amount of radiation is not considered safe for developing fetuses. If there’s a chance you may be pregnant, be sure to tell your dentist. 

Do I Really Need Dental X-rays?

Yes. X-rays are an essential part of your dental checkup. In fact, they are just as important as your cleanings. Your dentist uses X-rays to see if you have cavities, tooth decay, or other issues, such as impacted teeth.

How Often Do I Need Dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are performed annually at your dental checkup. However, in some cases, your dentist may need additional X-rays throughout the year if there are any issues or to track the progress of any treatment. If it’s your first visit to a new dentist, you will probably have new X-rays taken or need to transfer recent X-rays from a previous dental office.

X-rays for Kids

Children may need to have dental X-rays more often than adults to monitor growth of their adult teeth. Also, the child's dentist needs to make sure the child's mouth is large enough to accommodate incoming permanent teeth.

X-rays for kids also help monitor the development of wisdom teeth, evaluate whether baby teeth are allowing permanent teeth to come in properly, and identify tooth decay and gum disease early on, before they become complications.

What Can I Do to Minimize My Risks?

Although X-rays are very safe, extra precautions can be taken to minimize radiation exposure even further, such as:

·      Placing a lead “bib” over the chest, abdomen, and pelvic region to prevent radiation exposure to vital organs

·      Using a thyroid collar for patients with thyroid conditions, women, and children

·      Digital X-rays instead of film developing to minimize radiation

·      Taking fewer images

·      Using the lowest radiation setting possible.

Dental Care in Oregon

360 Dental in Eugene, Oregon, is here to provide you with a safe, relaxing, and carefree dental experience. Dr. Ari Binder and his staff look forward to treating your teeth with expert care.

If you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment, call (541) 689-1645 or use our online appointment request form.