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digital-radiograph radiation-exposure dental-xray

Should I Be Worried About Radiation Exposure From Dental X-Rays?

Posted · 3 Comments
digital-radiograph radiation-exposure dental-xray

Digital radiographs have less radiation exposure than traditional film x-rays

This is a question we run across frequently in our field. Just the word “radiation” is enough to send most people in the opposite direction. I mean, don’t we all want to remain healthy and cancer-free?

What most people don’t realize is they’re exposed to radiation on a daily basis, just going about their business and leading their lives. Typical sources of radiation you run across on a daily basis include smoke detectors, cooking with natural gas, living in a brick home, flying on an airplane and even sleeping next to someone. Radiation is present in just about everything. Including a banana!

So how do we determine if levels of radiation are considered to be at a worrisome level for one’s health? Using a millisievert (mSv) scale to measure doses consider the following:

3.1 mSv                 Average annual natural radiation in the U.S.  (A.K.A living life!)

4.060 mSv            Lower GI Tract x-ray

0.080 mSv            Chest x-ray

0.038 mSv            Dental bitewing x-rays (traditional film x-ray)

0.005 mSv            Dental bitewing x-ray (digital)

Unlike traditional x-rays on other parts of the body, dental x-rays are targeted to a very small area. At SoundBridge Center for Dental Arts, we use digital x-ray rather than traditional films. What this means exposure to you is even LOWER radiation than what is listed above. In some cases, up to 80 percent lower!

Furthermore, the benefits of receiving yearly dental x-rays should be taken into account.  Radiographs can provide evidence of decay and other issues long before clinical signs appear. Often times we can catch a cavity on x-ray before we see it in your mouth…and before you become symptomatic. Without x-rays, trouble could be brewing long before it shows up clinically. This is a huge benefit to you as a patient and helps us keep you healthy and pain-free!

3 Responses to "Should I Be Worried About Radiation Exposure From Dental X-Rays?"
  1. Avatar for Dr. Karla Bloomquist Mesothelioma says:

    I was suggested this web site through my cousin. I’m now
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  2. Avatar for Dr. Karla Bloomquist Ellen says:

    Do you know if a dentist using a 2004 Beltone x-ray machine is digital or film-based?

    • It is best to contact the dentist directly to find out if they are using film or digital x rays. The same hardware (x ray head or machine) can usually be used for either film or digital- but the exposure settings are different.

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