When dentists need to evaluate a patient for an upcoming procedure, or to check their overall oral health and wellness, it is important that they have patients take routine dental x-rays. This is a common diagnostic tool used in dental practices today to help image the teeth, bone, and gums beyond what the eye can see. These images are used to diagnose conditions and plan treatments. They can offer the dentist a lot of very helpful information to develop an appropriate plan for patients. However, many patients are a little uneasy when they wear a heavy vest during their imaging to protect themselves from radiation exposure. So how important is it to have dental x-rays completed, and are they safe?
Radiation exposure is one of the biggest concerns our patients have when they are undergoing diagnostic imaging at Peters Dental Associates. While the idea of radiation is scary, in reality, we are often exposed to radiation every day—and not just with x-rays. Radiation is measured in rems, which includes a thousand millirems, or “mrem.” Radiation during an airport scan measures at .001 mrem, while natural radiation found in the human body is typically around an averages of 0.04 mrem. These levels are extremely low, especially when compared to the fatal levels of radiation which is approximately one million mrem.
How much exposure to radiation will I experience with dental x-rays?
A dental x-ray exposes patients to approximately 0.6 to 0.9 mrem in film x-rays, and 0.4 mrem in digital. These numbers are minute in comparison to fatal levels of radiation. Additionally, the benefits of having dental x-rays done far outweighs the chance of any harmful effects. These images provide the information our dentist needs to plan procedures and diagnose conditions that can be treated or reversed. Even with these low levels of radiation, our team uses a special vest to help block radiation exposure to the rest of the body during the creation of dental x-rays.
Learn more about dental x-rays and other common diagnostic tools used at Peters Dental Associates
Now that you understand the safety of dental x-rays, you can rest easy knowing that you are taking the proper steps to maintaining your oral health and wellness each time you visit Dr. M.H. Peters and his professional team. Call the office at (281) 486-8061 to schedule your next dental visit and get started becoming proactive with your oral health.