malmin orthodontics blog

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

A dental x-ray is a dental tool used by dentists to diagnose dental problems that can’t easily be detected by the naked eye or can’t be felt by other dental tools. Periodontal disease and signs of early tooth decay are quite easy to detect by use of an x-ray. The reason that there is often some concern about any types of x-rays is because small doses of radiation are used when the x-ray is being taken.

When the x-rays are taken properly using the suggested safety procedures there is no need to worry about how safe they are. If your dentist thinks you need an examination that requires an x-ray, the four bite-wing x-rays he or she is likely to use will expose you to only around the same amount of radiation you would be exposed to after 2 hours of flying time.

Without an x-ray, a multitude of problems would not be seen in advance by your dentist. These include:

  • areas that are decaying particularly between the teeth or beneath a filling;
  • bone loss caused by gum disease;
  • abscesses where the location is difficult to find such as at the tooth’s route and between the gum and the tooth;
  • hidden tumours;
  • changes taking place in the root canal.

What else is a dental x-ray used for?

They help the dentist to prepare dentures, braces and tooth implants.

Children and dental X-Rays

Many parents worry about the dentist using x-rays on their children. This shouldn’t be a concern as the doses of radiation are so small they shouldn’t be of any danger to children. They are of great value to dentists and patients in ensuring healthy teeth into the future:

Ways that x-rays can help children

  • They ensure the mouth is big enough to allow for 2nd teeth.
  • They monitor wisdom teeth development.
  • They help to determine if first teeth are becoming loose enough to allow room for 2ndpermanent teeth.
  • They identify early tooth decay and gum disease.

Pregnancy and dental X-Rays

Overall if you are pregnant you should avoid dental x-rays. If your dentist thinks it’s necessary, the matter will be discussed with you.

Minimising the Effect of Dental X-Rays

The set procedure for taking a dental x-ray is ensuring any other parts of your body which are likely to be exposed are covered up with a lead apron. Also you can ask your Malmin dentist to take one single image and not several, as this helps to reduce the level of radiation.

Of course, overall regular twice yearly dental checks where minor dental problems are fixed before they get too big are the best way to avoid dental x-rays. As the saying goes prevention is better than cure.

Your Malmin dentist will always do what is best for your teeth and for you so you can be rest assured you are in good hands when it comes to dental x-rays.

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