Things You Need To Know About Safety of Dental X-Rays
Dental x-ray exam is the most common diagnostic practice observed by dentists all over the world. Now, there many people who worry about the extent of radiation fired through the x-ray beam when the examination is in progress. Those people are mainly worried about the long term health disadvantages that x-rays can cause. Well, the matter of fact is that there are several other factors to take into consideration because x-rays promise to provide some benefits which usually outweigh the risks. However, it doesn’t mean that extreme radiation exposure can be justifiable. But it also doesn’t mean that x-ray exams actually expose your body against bigger amount of radiation.
Are dental x-rays safe?
There are many sources of radiation. Those sources include sun, soil, consumer products and, of course, dental x-rays. The radiation has the capability to damage the body tissues and even encourage the production of cancer cells in the body. Nevertheless, the amount of radiation you get exposed to while getting a dental x-ray test is quite small.
For your satisfaction, you can keep it in mind that dental x-ray operators need to get license from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before they expose public to radiation. It means that they have to qualify for keeping the radiation to minimum level before they can run x-rays machines. This concept of using minimum amount of radiation is mainly referred to as ALARA which means “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”.
The amount of radiation used in a dental x-ray exam
American College of Radiology says that a typical dental x-ray exam, which uses 4 bitewing x-rays, exposes patient to the radiation in an amount of five microsieverts per year. This is almost the same amount that you get from the sun on daily basis. And if you do a comparison, you will find out that radiation coming from other sources is actually quite higher than what you are exposed to while going through a dental x-ray exam. For instance, a flight of 5 hours can expose you against 25 microsieverts.
Minimum radiation from x-rays
It is worth mentioning here that the amount of radiation fired from dental x-ray equipment is usually quite small and, hence, harmless. The dentists have to get their equipment approved from the concerned authorities before they could use them in their offices. Here, it would also be worth mentioning that dental x-ray beam is put on a very small area where there is not a bigger risk for the radiation to do the damage.
Nevertheless, you need to talk to your OLympia DEntist if you have concerns about the dental x-rays or you have a medical condition in which getting exposed to radiation can be harmful.