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Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

February 21, 2019
Posted By: Dr. Clay Sigmon, DDS
Dental X-Rays | Full Circle Dental Care | Del City, OK

Some of the most common questions we get have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do my kids or I need them? And how often should I get them?

These are all great questions, and the answers can get complicated quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics here.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Let’s start with the most critical question – safety.

Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure.

Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the X-ray of today is far superior to those of even just a decade ago.

These advancements in safety apply to children as well. Today’s X-rays are so safe that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to with an X-ray of the back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment daily.

Why Do You Need X-Rays?

X-rays also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, which they can’t see through a visual examination. X-Rays are especially crucial for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.

The benefits of X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.

How Often Should I Get Them?

Your X-ray schedule depends on some factors, including your medical and dental history.

Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo a set of routine X-rays once a year.  

Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?

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