How Many Dental X-rays are Safe Per Year?

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During a visit to your North Edmonton dentist, they may request additional exams to help them determine the best course of treatment for you. These exams may include digital images, reconstructions, and x-rays. Depending on the procedure, different angles of your mouth need to be examined, resulting in different x-rays having to be taken.

When a dentist requires x-rays, patients may be unsure how safe the procedure is due to the high-energy lighting used to take the photographs. There are many concerns from patients about the exposure they may face during dental x-rays and how this can affect them.

What are X-rays and Why do Dentists Require Them?

Dental x-rays are images taken of your teeth and bone structure that your dentist can use to help them evaluate your dental case and determine what procedures you may need. These use radiation to take images of the inside of your mouth to show your teeth, gums, and bone. They can also help a dentist find problems such as cavities, tooth decay and any impacted teeth.

Your dentist will request your dental x-rays in North Edmonton depending on the treatment you are interested in and if they require more information about your dental journey. Their request will vary depending on how much dental work you’ve done in the past, your smile’s current condition, age, and dental hygiene routine. All these factors are typically considered before your dentist asks for additional information, and each request is specific to their unique dental needs.

Dental x-rays are also ideal for identifying any hidden issues that are not yet visible to your dentist and helping them design a treatment plan for you. The photographs can also reveal bone loss that may be weakening your facial structure. Finding these issues early on makes a big difference, which is another reason dentists typically request x-rays.

What are the Risks of X-rays?

As with any procedure, x-rays have disadvantages. There are clear benefits to having these photos taken of your mouth. However, any level of radiation poses a risk, and patients should be aware of this. Due to radiation, patients will be covered with a special layer of clothes during the procedure. This will ensure that only part of a patient’s body exposed to the x-rays are the areas required by the dentist.

Although radiation can be a risk, patients will not be exposed to it regularly and should ensure they minimize exposure by following a dentist’s instructions. Research suggests that if you are an adult following a good oral hygiene routine and visiting a dentist near you regularly, you should take intervals of 24 to 36 months between x-rays. With consistent visits, your dentist should not require additional x-rays from you.

Protection During X-rays

Radiation patients are exposed to during x-rays is very minimal and will normally not cause immediate effects. The radiation will wear off after a few days of exposure, which is a low-level risk. However, there are a few ways to protect yourself from the rays.

Radiation works by using a strong light to pass through live tissues to capture clear bones and smiles. Prolonged exposure to their form of radiation can have long-term effects on someone, which is why they should always try to wear protective gear. Wearing suitable radiation protection, such as lead-lined gear, can shield patients and workers from exposure.

If you visit your dental clinic and your dentist requires you to get dental x-rays near you, ensure you know the risks and request additional protection. Most professionals who will take the x-rays will have the gear prepared for you to avoid any issues. If you want to learn more about this procedure, contact Griesbach Dental! We will be happy to help you learn more about the different requests a dentist may mention.