Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

A dental x-ray is a common diagnostic procedure that is considered very safe. The radiation generated during the procedure is low compared to the amount generated during other imaging procedures. When a dental x-ray procedure is performed properly and all of the necessary safety precautions are in place, there is nothing to worry about.

Who needs dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are required for diagnostic purposes. It helps dentists observe underlying tooth problems that may be invisible to the human eye. A dental x-ray can help identify areas of decay in the teeth including those in between the teeth or under a filing. It can also reveal bone loss associated with gum disease, abscesses, tumors and changes in the root canal. X-Rays enable dentists to make informed decisions regarding the dental health of a patient and the most appropriate procedure to rectify such problems.

Dental x-rays and children

Many parents are concerned about the impact of dental x-rays on their children. This fear is caused by the fact that children are more sensitive to radiation than adults. However, the amount of radiation involved during a dental x-ray procedure is safe even for a child. Dental x-rays help dentists learn more about a child's teeth and oral health. This includes the identification of decay and gum disease at an early stage.

Also, a dental x-ray can be used to monitor a child's development of baby teeth and permanent teeth. It is important for children to visit a dentist regularly.

Is dental x-ray safe during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid getting an x-ray during pregnancy. While the procedure is totally harmless for the woman involved, it is best to avoid radiation during this period in order to protect the health of the developing fetus. Pregnant women should disclose their pregnancy status whenever they visit a dentist.

There are certain circumstances where a dental x-ray may become necessary for a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman has a dental emergency due to an unforeseen circumstance such as an accident or trauma, she may still need a dental x-ray.

Safety precautions taken during x-rays

During a dental x-ray procedure, there are certain ways that the risk of exposure to radiation can be minimized. Taking a single image rather than multiple images is one-way decrease exposure significantly. Also, a dentist may choose to use the lowest radiation setting possible particularly when children are involved. A dentist may also make use of leaded coverings to protect certain parts of the body from radiation during the procedure.

Can an x-ray be avoided?

Although it is always best to undergo a dental x-ray whenever it is recommended, there are certain circumstances when it can be avoided. Performing a careful visual evaluation of a patient's teeth can reduce the need for x-rays by as much as 43 percent without an increase in the rate of undiagnosed diseases. This shows that there are times when a careful visual examination may negate the need for an x-ray.

Contact one of our dentists to learn more about dental x-rays.

Here's how you do that…

Looking to get a dental x-ray near the 93101 area? Call Dental Sedation and Implant Center at (805) 920-2133.

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