Patients often ask if dental x-rays are safe. To answer this question, we explored why it’s important to understand why we do x-rays, it’s effect on our health, and how a banana helps put everything into prescriptive.
At Dream Smile Dental, x-rays are done during hygiene appointments and when our doctors need to see things that are otherwise not visible during a visual exam, such as checking for bone loss or deterioration, cavities, hidden dental structures and growth, periodontal diseases, and cysts. X-rays can also be used for preventive measures, for example, by identifying a problem before it becomes a painful or expensive procedure.
Since the invention of the x-ray in the late 1800's, x-rays have been refined to be more efficient and safer. Thanks to advancements in dental x-rays technology, the dosage of x-ray exposure continues to decrease with advanced equipment. Today, the average dental intraoral x-ray has a radiation dose of about .005 mSv, which is less than the average amount of natural background radiation received in a day. At Dream Smile Dental, we use state-of-the-art technology when it comes to taking x-rays. Our digital x-rays decrease the absorbed dose of energy during exposure, when compared to regular dental x-rays, thus making x-rays taken at Dream Smile Dental to be significantly safer.
We also have a Picasso Trio 3D Dental Imaging System that has the capability to provide a full mouth panoramic x-ray image in one go. Having three-dimensional scanning capabilities allows our doctors to have more data and acts as an additional tool for a thorough diagnosis.
What do bananas have to do with x-rays? Well, eating a banana has a radiation dosage of about .0001 mSv. Which would mean that eating 50 bananas would be the rough equivalent of one dental x-ray. And, according to the chart below, a passenger flying from New York to LA will receive a radiation dosage eight times greater than a dental x-ray. It can be argued that given the facts about radiation dosage, an occasional dental x-ray has significant potential diagnostic benefits compared to the radiation dosage risks. The next time you are at our office to take an x-ray, just remember that you are in good hands and that we invest in the most advanced x-ray equipment on the market for your safety and piece of mind.