As a practising dentist we observe this concern from many of our patients. Many of them want to know whether dental X-ray is necessary and if yes,are they harmful for us?However, routine diagnostic X-ray is a very common and helpful tool in the field of dentistry to understand the exact dental problem which may not be visible during clinical examination. It is to note that dental checkup only reveals small visible cavities on the teeth but fails to recognise the depth and extent of the cavities, the condition of the supporting bone and most importantly gives important information about displacement, the position and the curvature of roots and its proximity to the important anatomical structures, especially in case of wisdom teeth.
So the question can be – are they safe? The one word answer is – YES. Routine dental X-rays used for diagnosis are very safe simply because it has a very low dose of radiation which does not cause any harm to you. The amount of radiations can further be reduced if dentist use digital X-ray instead of conventional film based X-ray. Moreover, your dentist can use lead apron to cover your body in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure to the other parts of your body. If patient has any thyroid problem, a lead thyroid caller can also be used to protect the thyroid gland. The only precaution that needs to be taken is in case of pregnant ladies where the X-ray exposure should be completely avoided unless it is must.
Remember your dentist, who gets exposed to as many number of X-ray while working on different patients is also safe. So compared to that, the X-ray exposure you have as a patient is very less than what your dentist gets exposed to. So next time if your dentist advises you for routine diagnostic dental X-ray be assured that it is definitely safe. So trust your dentist and help them to arrive at a right diagnosis so that they can give you the best possible dental care. Happy dentistry.
Until the next time