Calculating Risks in Dental X-Rays

vector image of tooth getting a dental x-ray

Dressed in white with a smile so bright, dentists are one of society’s modern-day heroes. Whether it’s a toothache getting on your nerves, swollen gums, or a sore jaw, your dentist is the one to call. One of the instruments dentists rely on to help solve your problems is the dental x-ray. These machines enable your dentist to see past the dense matter in your mouth and examine the deepest crevices of the teeth unseen by the naked eye. Simply put, dental x-rays are to dentists as x-ray vision is to Superman. Even the Man of Steel himself needs a little help from his superhuman abilities to catch crooks hiding in plain sight and beneath the walls.

However, the convenience brought by dental x-rays is accompanied by possible unintended consequences. Wherever there are x-rays, radiation inevitably follows. How safe are dental x-rays? What could possibly go wrong when having your pearly whites examined in dental x-rays? Whose mouths can be scanned by these machines? If you’re gritting your teeth to have these questions answered, read on.

The Perils of Radiation

While these handy dental machines can help sketch that radiant smile on your face, using them without prudence can cause unwanted consequences. Just like any other x-ray machine meant for examining different parts of the body, dental x-rays also emit x-radiation. This is a type of high-energy electromagnetic radiation known for its use in medical imaging. When taken in excessive amounts, x-rays can be detrimental to the body. Despite being set to emit low-level radiation, cumulative exposure to dental x-rays pose threats to one’s health.

If you’ve had countless visits to the dentist to get your teeth scanned, you don’t have to worry. Your dentist knows what they’re doing. Keep in mind how necessary it is to have a dental x-ray scan. If you’re having doubts, always ensure your x-ray only emits a low-level type of radiation and consult your dentists on the frequency of such examinations.

Rest assured that at West Airdrie Dental, we only use digital X-rays which produce the lowest possible dose of radiation

Who Needs to Take Extra Caution?

Make no mistake; everyone should be wary when it comes to dental x-ray examinations. There are those, however, who have to be more vigilant than others.

For pregnant women, x-rays are a big NO. Despite the low-level x-rays these machines emit, pregnant women should stay away from dental x-ray examinations whenever possible. This is why female dental patients must inform their doctors whenever they are expectant of a newborn. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Depending on the gravity of the pregnant woman’s dental condition, x-ray examinations can be permissible with utmost caution from her dentist. Extra care and diligence have to be observed as pregnant patients have their dental health and the health of their fetus hanging on the balance.

Children are also among those who need extra care when having their teeth x-rayed. As growing and developing individuals, excessive exposure to x-rays may alter the growth and formation of their facial bones and teeth.

In Conclusion

Biting off more than you can chew never ends well and the same can be said for dental x-rays. While these machines can come in handy for dentists who come to the rescue in our mouth’s excruciatingly painful moments, it always pays to avoid throwing caution to the wind.

Click here to contact us at West Airdrie Dental or call us at 587 317 7713