Is It Safe To Undergo Dental X-Rays?
X-rays are commonly used to diagnose dental conditions, and they are not considered safety risks. The doses of radiation that patients are exposed to via digital x-rays are extremely low. Other types of imaging procedures produce far more radiation.
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Suppose you have concerns about x-rays or are worried that a medical condition. In that case, you may want to learn more about what these x-rays entail and why they are commonly used.
Your dental technician will take proper precautions when an x-ray is performed, there are minimal safety risks. Suppose you receive four bitewing x-rays during an examination. In that case, you will be exposed to about as much radiation as you would on a two-hour airplane flight.
When Are X-Rays Necessary?
X-rays serve as a diagnostic tool for dentists. They make it possible to spot problems that can’t easily be identified during an examination. Dental x-rays make it possible to diagnose issues so that they can be treated.
Dental x-rays allow dentists to see:
Tooth decay, even when it’s beneath fillings or between teeth.
Bone loss caused by gum disease
Abscesses, a type of infection found between the gum and the tooth or at a tooth’s root.
Root canal changes
These x-rays can also serve as a reference. This can assist dentists with dentures, implants, braces, and an array of other dental treatments.
Are Dental X-Rays Suitable For Children?
Because children are more radiation-sensitive than adults, it’s common for parents to have concerns about the safety of x-rays. Thankfully, because the amount of radiation used is very low, these x-rays are still child-safe. Teeth and jaws go through numerous changes as children grow and develop. That’s why it’s essential to monitor them closely. X-rays can benefit pediatric dentists in multiple ways.
They make it possible to:
Confirm that a child’s mouth is large enough for teeth that are coming in
Keep track of wisdom teeth as they develop.
Check to see if primary teeth have become loosened, which will allow permanent teeth to come in.
Spot gum disease and tooth decay early on
Children will need dental checkups regularly and receive x-rays according to a dentist’s recommendations. The appropriate x-ray schedule will be determined by a child’s dentists.
Can Pregnant Women Receive Dental X-Rays?
It’s typically recommended that women do not undergo dental x-rays during pregnancy. Even though radiation exposure is extremely low, it’s advised to avoid any exposure while a fetus is still developing. If you may be pregnant, you will want to inform your dentist.
With that said, dentists may still recommend that a pregnant woman receives an x-ray in certain situations. For example, x-rays may be used for dental emergencies or when a patient is in the midst of a treatment plan. Prenatal health and appropriate dental care must be balanced. It’s best to follow your dentist’s recommendations. Periodontal disease can increase health risks during pregnancy, so good dental care is essential during this time.
Additional safety precautions can be used to keep pregnant women safe as they undergo x-rays, including thyroid collars and leaded aprons. It’s best to discuss these issues with your dentist and follow the instructions that they give you.
What Kinds Of Precautions Are Used During X-Rays?
Dentists can limit radiation exposure during dental x-rays in numerous ways. For example, a dentist can significantly lower exposure by capturing one image instead of several images. You may also request that your dentist uses the lowest possible radiation setting. Wearing leaded coverings can provide some protection from the radiation.
How Can You Determine If Dental X-Rays Are Needed?
While radiation exposure can be limited in several ways, x-rays should still only be conducted when necessary. X-rays do not have to follow any sort of schedule. Instead, dentists must decide whether x-rays are needed. Many factors will be considered when making this decision, such as:
The patient’s age
The patient’s oral health
Dental development stage
According to research, proper clinical evaluations can lower x-ray frequency by around 43% percent without leading to more undiagnosed diseases. If exposure is a concern for you, you can request a visual examination before any x-rays. However, you should still be aware that it isn’t always possible to diagnose conditions without x-rays.
Suppose you want to decrease the necessity of x-rays. In that case, you should also transfer over any x-rays from dentists you have seen previously.
You shouldn’t be afraid to have a discussion with your dentist about x-rays. Learn more about the steps you can take to work towards better dental health.