Are Dental X-rays Dangerous?

dental x-rays dangerous

Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often your dentist should take X-rays depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. But are dental X-rays dangerous? For some answers to that question, please read on, then contact one of our experienced general dentistry dentists located in Basking Ridge and Morristown, NJ today.

Do I need even need a dental X-ray?

Your dentist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays. If you are a new patient, your dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later. Your dentist may need a new set of X-rays to detect any new cavities, determine the status of your gum health or evaluate the growth and development of your teeth. Children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.

Do X-rays present any risks?

Dental X-rays are an essential part of dental practice. Although professionals have reduced the doses of radiation due to the development of digital techniques, dental diagnostic X-ray imaging remains one of the most common types of radiological procedures. Dental X-rays expose patients to relatively low radiation doses. However, in other instances, low doses of radiation have resulted in an increased risk of cancer.

How do dental professionals minimize those risks?

That said, professionals have designed tools and techniques to limit the body’s exposure to radiation and take every precaution to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonably Achievable, i.e. the ALARA principle. Your dentist or a dental assistant may use a leaded apron and/or leaded thyroid collar to shield the abdomen and thyroid.

Are dental X-rays dangerous to pregnant women and/or unborn fetuses?

Make sure you tell your dentist, because you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for dental disease during your pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, dental care, including dental X-rays, are safe during pregnancy. Use of the leaded apron and thyroid collar will protect you and your fetus from radiation exposure. You need not delay your dental X-rays if you are trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

If you have any further questions regarding the risks and benefits of dental X-rays, please reach out to our team as soon as possible.

Contact The Dental Associates of Basking Ridge

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment if you have any dental issues.

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