Are Dental X-Rays safe?
Yes, Dental X-Rays are safe. Dental X-Rays radiations are often comparable to ambient radiation in our environment. Emissions from Dental X-Rays are roughly 2.5% of that medical imaging. Some studies suggest that radiation from 1 dental X-Ray is approximately equal to eating 15 bananas, or 5 Brazil nuts.
Dental X-Ray safety requirements
All radiation emitting equipment in our dental offices is registered and licensed with the FDA, and the State of Illinois. Although radiation is minimal, we always shield our patient’s abdomen and thyroid with a lead(or equivalent) apron. In addition to the safety protocols, our office also only take a minimal amount of images as needed, instead of a routine basis.
X-Ray for pregnant moms
Dental X-Ray is safe for pregnant moms with shielding of the abdomen and thyroid according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee. But you should always tell your dentist before any treatment of your pregnancy.
Different kinds of Dental X-rays
There are a few types of Dental X-Rays. The traditional X-Rays taken with a cone mounted on the wall will usually yield 2D information on 3-4 teeth per image. Panoramic X-Ray, on the other hand, is a standalone machine that will give the dentist 2D information on your teeth and surrounding bone structure.
Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) on the other hand, takes hundreds of images around the patients head, and reconstruct to give the dentist a 3D model of the area of interest. Check out the CBCT and digital sensor used by our office.
A new kind of handheld X-Ray machines was introduced in 2005 and approved by FDA. It has even less radiation than wall mount units, and often need no additional shielding for the operator.
Dental X-Rays are safe, when the dentist takes X-rays on as needed basis, and with proper safety protocol.