Dental X-Rays

Home / Dental Health / Dental X-Rays

At Simon Pong Dentistry, we get a lot of questions about dental x-rays from our patients. Questions like: Are x-rays safe? How much radiation do I get from a dental x-ray? How often do I need x-rays? Why do I need x-rays? Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about dental x-rays.

How often should I get dental x-rays?

Frequency depends on the current condition of your mouth and your dental history. Do you frequently get cavities? If you answer yes, then you may require x-rays annually. If you haven’t had a cavity in five years, then you can go years between x-rays.

Considerations include:

  • Diet. Does your diet include sugar, soft drinks, energy drinks, acidic foods, and/or is it high in carbohydrates? These types of foods and drinks can increase your risk of enamel breakdown and tooth decay.
  • Home care. Many patients, both young and elderly, have difficulty cleaning their teeth. In some cases this may be the result of an illness like a stroke or Alzheimer’s.
  • Advanced periodontal disease (severe gum disease resulting in bleeding gums and advanced bone loss). Bone loss is measured with a periodontal probe that acts like a ruler and visually illustrates the disease through radiographs. Panorex x-ray is an excellent way to see the entire jaw bone and measure periodontal advancement.


What’s safe for dental x-rays?

  • Many countries have adopted the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommendation of 20mSv per year.
  • Digital x-rays produce a very low level of radiation and are considered safe.

Considerations include:

  • Pregnancy. X-rays are considered safe during pregnancy, although radiographs are taken only when necessary, or in an emergency situation. A single dose of radiation (one small x-ray) is sufficient. Exposure to larger doses of radiation may cause adverse effects in a developing fetus, however, there is no increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects.
  • The average person gets 3mSv per year, which is well below the average recommendation for a safe level. Half of this radiation comes from background radiation, such as natural radiation from radon in the air.


Radiation Comparison*

  • Dental X-rays, 4 small intra-oral films 0.005mSv
  • Panorex dental X-ray 0.01mSv
  • Chest X-ray 0.1mSv
  • Mammogram 0.4mSv
  • Natural radiation exposure 2mSv
  • Airline Crew NYC-Tokyo annually 9mSv
  • Full body CT scan 10mSv
  • Recommended limit for radiation workers every 5 years 100mSV
  • Exposed Chernobyl residents 350mSv
  • Single dose which could cause radiation sickness, nausea, but not death 1,000mSv
  • Fatal within weeks 10,000mSv

Unlike x-rays, cell phones and cordless phones use radio frequency radiation. This radiation is different from x-ray radiation, and it is unknown at this time what the health risks are associated with cell use.

*World Nuclear Association, Radiologinfo.org.

For more information about dental x-rays, or any other dental-related concerns, contact Simon Pong Dentistry.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cancer Treatment and Oral Complications - Simon Pong DentistrySugary Drinks- Simon Pong Dentistry