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Do Dental X-Rays Pose a Risk? Or Are They a Dentist’s Best Weapon?

dental x-rays

Your visit to the dentist does not always mean an extraction or a filling. At times, a diagnosis requires other steps to be taken to achieve accuracy. More often than not, patients with damaged teeth may have underlying dental problems. Dentists may miss this if they skip necessary diagnostic steps like dental x-rays.

One of these diagnostic steps patients are often apprehensive about is the dental x-ray.  

Who needs dental x-rays?

When a patient has a toothache or needs a filling, it becomes imperative to see what’s underneath. This is especially important with what can’t be seen by the naked eye. Dentists need to take a peek beneath the teeth. That is, before sealing it or removing it. Dentists need to have good sense of the cause of the problem to recommend the best solution. Teeth x-ray comes in handy on this occasion. To identify dental problems better, sometimes, dentists need the help of dental x-rays.

For instance, areas of decay between teeth or under a filling that might not be visible during a physical examination. Bone loss, a result of gum disease, may also present itself as a problem. Dentists can easily miss this by not employing dental x-ray. If the dentist does not find out these problems, they may pose a greater risk to the patient. Then fear of dental x-rays becomes less of a problem. With dental x-rays to reference, dentists can better prepare the implants, dentures, braces, or other treatments fit for the problem. 

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental x-ray radiation shuns away patients with the actual need for it. The fear is the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure. What, really, are the risks of dental x-rays? Better yet, are the risks as great as the fear of it? Experts at the ADA claim that the digital dental x-rays of today have minimal doses of radiation. They only amount to a fraction of your exposure to other imaging procedures.

In fact, a routine x-ray examination equates to roughly the same amount of radiation exposure in a two-hour plane ride. In fact, the amount of radiation in a dental x-ray is even safe for a child. This is necessary as the procedure provides a way to monitor the development of tooth structure and growth. On the other hand, pregnant women should avoid dental x-rays if possible. This ensures the health and development of the fetus. However, when highly necessary, dentists may administer it. The patient may wear a lead apron or thyroid collar for protection.  

It is vital to have a thorough discussion with your dentist so you can make sound and informed decisions. Undergoing a dental x-ray is not all that bad. For one, the dentist can put radiation settings to the lowest, especially for children.

The dentist can always adjust the settings depending on the risk factors involved. Dental x-rays are safe. What is important is your understanding of the procedure you are undergoing. Experts for oral care can have a thorough discussion with you of your safety and dental wellness.

Need a dental x-ray now? Visit our website Des Moines Dental Group and book your first consultation with the best in Des Moines at 515-512-5339.


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