Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Young boy smiling as he holds an X-ray of his mouth

Many people are often dubious about the level of safety when it comes to dental X-rays, especially in regards to the amount of radiation you could possibly be exposed to. But with adequate safety precautions in place, this common diagnostic procedure is no reason for concern.

The Importance of Dental X-Rays

X-rays allow dentists to scan for problems that may be difficult to detect in plain sight. With X-ray imaging, dentists can find areas of decay, even if they’re located underneath a filling or between teeth. They can also detect bone loss associated with gum disease, tumors, infections, and more. X-rays help dentists avoid misdiagnosing or leaving a potentially life-threatening issue, undiagnosed. They’re a necessary tool that helps protect patients’ oral health.

Modern Digital X-Rays

Nowadays, technology has advanced and more dentists are utilizing digital dental X-rays. They’re known to reduce radiation by as much as 80% — a fraction of what other imaging procedures emit. However, if your dentist doesn’t use digital X-rays, don’t fret. Studies show that the amount of radiation standard X-rays produce, is roughly the same amount you get from the sun on an average day. To further ease your mind, consider the fact that X-rays aren’t a frequent requirement.

While we’ve established that dental X-rays are safe, patients can also take additional steps to limit their radiation exposure. Talk to your dentist about reducing the number of images taken or ask them to put the machine on the lowest radiation setting. At Michael Giovannini DDS, we are devoted to protecting your oral health as well as your overall health, and we are sensitive to nuances like age when considering the use of X-rays. If you’re still uncertain and would like to learn more, we’d love for you to contact us!