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How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
dental xray reviewed by dentist

Patients often worry about whether they'll need dental x-rays. Their main concern is a common misconception that they'll be exposed to unhealthy doses of radiation. However, x-rays during dental examinations are common diagnostic procedures. Today, digital dental x-rays ensure very low doses of radiation, just a small portion of what you're exposed to during other medical imaging procedures. If you're wondering whether or not you should forego dental x-rays, you can always make an appointment at SDNJ to speak with one of our specialists about why this procedure is performed and how we can ensure your safety.

Why Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?

When you receive a dental x-ray at SDNJ, we use this diagnostic tool to spot issues or concerns that may be nearly invisible to the naked eye. Utilizing the x-ray images, we can identify a number of dental health problems, including:

  • Decay, especially hard-to-see spots between teeth and under fillings
  • Infection at the root of the tooth or between the teeth and gums
  • Bone loss
  • Tumors
  • And more
While we can spot many dental issues during our visual examination, without x-rays, many problems could potentially go undiagnosed. We also use x-rays as a reference when we're preparing for tooth implants, dentures and other treatments provided here at SDNJ.

Is Getting Dental X-Rays Safe?

At SDNJ, we perform dental x-rays properly, with all precautions in place to ensure patient safety. As a result, you'll have little cause for concern if we recommend this procedure. When you receive a routine examination utilizing four bitewing x-rays, you're exposed to approximately the same amount of radiation as you would be during a two-hour airplane flight.

Why Do I Have to Wear a Vest While Getting Dental X-Rays?

The heavy vest placed over your body during dental x-rays is a leaded covering. It's another example of how we minimize the amount of radiation you're exposed to from x-rays.Dental x-rays utilize concentrated radiation to give us accurate images of your mouth. While the radiation amounts are small, there's no reason to expose your neck or torso to any radiation. The lead vest shields you, reducing whatever radiation is not necessary.

How Often Should I Get Dental X-Rays?

Safety limits are set by medical and dental experts who study the use of x-ray for diagnostic purposes. We strive to take as few dental x-rays as possible and use them only when it's necessary.If you haven't had a dental appointment for a while, you can expect to get x-rays during your first examination. This process allows us to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. After that, most patients only need x-rays every two years depending on their individual oral health. Children may require more x-rays than adults as we monitor the growth of their incoming teeth and make sure they have no cavities.

Speak With a Dental Specialist to Learn More

If you're concerned about dental x-rays or believe you're due to have some dental x-rays taken, we invite you to make an appointment at SDNJ in Manalapan, NJ. We'd be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about dental x-rays and ensure that your records are up-to-date.

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