Generally, radiation for dental x-rays is of low levels. If in case your dentist needs a clearer picture of your teeth condition (tooth decay, cavities, broken teeth) an x-ray comes of help. These radiograph images capture the interior of your teeth and gums. The title reads possible complications of these, which means the probability of risks or difficulties during and after an x-ray are somewhere present. But that involves certain factors. To understand how safe dental x-rays are, let’s dive into some information and related factors.
When is Dental X-Ray Necessary
Your age, oral health, history of tooth decay, and such other factors determine your need for an x-ray. When the issues are not visible to the naked eye, or a deeper understanding of your teeth condition, such diagnostics help dentists to decide on the treatment process. An x-ray can help the dentist to identify:
- Where the decay lies (between your teeth or beneath a filling)
- Any gum disease leading to bone loss
- Oral infections (root, teeth, between teeth and gum)
- Tumor, if any
- Root canal adjustments
To keep patients safe from even the low levels of radiation, dentists mostly use special high-speed films and cover patients with a lead apron. According to the American Dental Association, the design of diagnostic tools for dental X rays is made to prevent the body’s exposure to radiation. Healthcare service providers try to follow the ALARA principle that implies As Low As Reasonably Achievable. There are now advancements where you will find devices like a portable x-ray machine that offers superior quality imaging. These battery-operated machines claim to have lower radiation leakage.
Effects of Radiation on Adults and Children
For adults, whether you are going for a regular checkup or with the specific purpose of teeth problem, you should question your doctor if x-rays are necessary. If you maintain your oral health, bitewings, or the annual preventive x-rays are not obligatory. A joint report of the Department of Health and Human Services along with the American Dental Association states that standard intervals for a radiographic examination of posterior bitewings should be 24 to 36 months.
Also, during pregnancy, women are generally advised to avoid dental x-rays. The radiations are likely to hamper the development of the fetus. If it is necessary, consult with the dentist to help you instruct safety measures.
However, children are sensitive to even the low amount of radiation. Dentists need the assistance of an x-ray to:
- Examine the growth of wisdom teeth
- Identify if the release of primary teeth is allowing the permanent teeth to grow
- Also, to find out if there are any signs of decay or disease
As your kids grow, periodically keeping a check on their oral health developments becomes necessary.
Determining the Possible Harm
Our body receives natural exposure to radiation from the sun, air, water, the soil, and rocks. The bricks used to build our homes expose us to radiation every day.
Now, there have been linkages dental x-rays leading to a tumor, a study says. Ionizing radiation found in x-rays is harmful to the living cells. These radiations can result in cell death or cell mutation. Increasing the use of ionizing radiation can cause potential health concerns. A study found that numerous dental x-rays can increase the risk of non-malignant meningioma brain tumors. But, if deliveries of these radiations are in low doses and not that frequent, then the chances are cells are likely to repair itself the damage caused.
Get the facts correct and consult with your dentist on the possible effects of an x-ray. There might be some other health conditions that are leading to difficulties. At times dental x-rays are unavoidable but if proper care is taken they won’t harm you.