Dental X-Rays are a dentist’s tool used to view the interior of a person’s teeth, which helps them diagnose and determine whether any decay on the surface has gone deep. Dental X-rays are safe! According to the FDA, “The amount of radiation exposure from dental X-rays is meager, and there is no evidence that dental X-rays cause any cancer.”
Uses of Dental X-Rays
Dental X-rays are used in dentistry to help diagnose diseases of the teeth and jaws, including cavities and periodontal disease. Dental x-rays can reveal tooth decay lurking beneath the gum line or hidden roots of teeth that are not easily visible. Dentists usually use an X-ray machine (also called a dental X-ray machine or X-ray generator) that produces lower radiation levels than a hospital X-ray machine. They take precautions to ensure that the radiation dose is kept as low as possible.
Why are they safe
Dentists are trained to use X-rays safely. They give patients the minimum amount of radiation needed to get the correct view of a tooth or teeth. Patient exposure is kept low by using lead apron shields, keeping the mouth open as little as possible, and removing the film from the X-ray machine between each patient. Also, a dental assistant or oral hygienist usually operates the X-ray equipment and holds up poseable lead shields to block unnecessary radiation from reaching the patient. According to an independent report released by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), there is no evidence that trace levels of radiation from dental X-rays cause health problems in patients with standard immune systems.
How Radiation Works
The human body constantly receives low radiation from natural background sources such as the sun and outer space. In the past, people were exposed to higher radiation levels through X-rays and other medical procedures, but fortunately, those procedures have become safer.
Most of the time, exposure to radiation helps keep us healthy. It is the same basic process that makes a chest X-ray possible – x-rays are a form of electromagnetic energy like radio waves and light waves. The electromagnetic energy in dental X-rays cannot pass through your skin or teeth because they block materials such as bone, tissue, and metal. Only the electromagnetic energy reflected by your teeth can travel through your skin and be recorded on the film. The process of taking X-rays is safe and does not increase your chances of developing cancer.
How Dental X-Rays Are Produced
Dental x-rays are produced by a dental X-ray machine, also known as a radiology machine. This machine consists of two parts – the generator and the monitor. The generator sends out electromagnetic energy beams to produce the image, and the monitor records this information on the film. The same principle is used in both dental and non-dental X-ray machines.
Safe Radiation Exposure
The amount of radiation you receive from dental x-rays has been proven safe through stringent regulation by doctors, dentists, medical groups, and government agencies. The radiation exposure from a general dental x-ray is about the same amount of radiation you receive in 1 to 2 minutes of being outside in the sunlight.
Dental X-rays do not produce any ionizing radiation known to cause cancer. Dental x-rays also do not make Beta waves (also referred to as electron beams), or Gamma waves, which are associated with nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. The most common type of radiation in dental X-rays is called “Alpha rays” or “photons”, similar to what you might see through a pinhole in an opaque window screen.
In conclusion, the amount of radiation you receive from a dental x-ray is safe. The radiation is so safe that the FDA has stated no evidence that dental x-rays cause cancer.