From The Experts: The ADA Answers Questions About Dental X-Rays


DENTAL X-RAYS ARE an important part of your regular check-ups, but some patients have questions about them. What we do in the office is consistent with the American Dental Association recommendations.

“Why Are X-rays Necessary?”

Not everything that goes on inside your mouth is visible to the naked eye. X-rays help us detect and diagnose decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. Effective oral care is about prevention and early intervention. It’s essential that we discover and diagnose the earliest sign of a problem. We want to keep your mouth as healthy as it can possibly be, and preserve your natural teeth. X-rays help us do that.

“Are X-rays Dangerous?” “Are They Safe For Children?” What If I’m Nursing Or Pregnant?”

Exposure to all sources of radiation–including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home and dental x-rays– can damage the body’s tissues and cells. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of dental X-rays is extremely small especially since we use digital X-rays.

We avoid taking x-rays on pregnant women unless it is an emergency and will always ask for permission first to take x-rays on children. Often we will not take new films on children for several years unless they are high risk for dental problems.

Because every bit of radiation that you receive from all sources add together over a lifetime, we do try to minimize the frequency. Therefore, we follow the ADA guidelines which depends on your dental disease and problems.

Do You Have More Questions?

We’d love to answer them! Ask below, or bring it up next time you come in to see us. We always want you to be comfortable and confident in the care that we recommend.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Morgan used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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