Are Dental X-rays Safe? Your Encinitas Periodontist Explains

Have you ever wondered if dental X-rays are safe? Are you concerned about exposure to unnecessary radiation? The truth is that X-rays are an essential part of oral examinations. Dental X-rays can reveal oral health problems such as bone loss, cysts, tumors, and dental caries that may not be detectable to the naked eye. Although dental X-rays emit some radiation to capture images of the oral cavity, radiation emission is actually quite minimal. Dr. Ann Kania explains.

Why do patients need dental X-rays?

At oral examinations, panoramic X-rays and bite-wing X-rays are taken to assess patients’ oral health. Images captured by X-rays are incredibly useful for diagnosing oral health conditions such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.

How much radiation do dental X-rays emit?

Traditional dental X-rays emit about a day’s worth of radiation. Every day, you are exposed to some radiation from environmental factors. For example, small amounts of radon in the air or living in a brick house expose people to daily radiation. In most cases, dental X-rays emit about 1.5 millirems of radiation. When compared to other diagnostic imaging procedures such as mammograms or CT scans, dental X-ray emission is minimal.

Are digital X-rays safer than traditional dental X-rays?

Digital radiography emits 80 to 90% less radiation than even the small exposure of traditional dental X-rays. Our Encinitas periodontist office utilizes digital X-rays to reduce radiation exposure and capture accurate images of the oral cavity. With digital X-rays, Dr. Kania can view images in great detail on a computer screen by zooming in on specific areas. Unlike traditional X-rays, digital X-rays produce faster results because developing radiographic film is not necessary.  Body aprons and thryroid shields are used to limit exposure even more.

Dr. Kania and our team always keep patient safety and comfort in mind. To learn more about our diagnostic technology or to schedule an appointment, contact our Encinitas periodontist office at (760) 642-0711. We serve patients from Carlsbad, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, and the neighboring communities.