It’s not uncommon to get an X-ray at the beginning of your dental exam, especially if you’re a new patient or if you have a condition that needs to be frequently monitored. But are they actually safe? It’s an often-debated topic in the dental world.
What Is a Dental X-Ray?
A dental X-ray offers a full picture of your teeth and gums that your dentist cannot see with their naked eye. They can show tooth roots, impacted wisdom teeth, and signs of gum disease. You don’t need to leave the dental chair to get an X-ray, either. All you have to do is wear a protective lead vest, bite down on the bitewing, and let the X-rays take place! A full set of dental X-rays only takes a few minutes to complete.
Are X-Rays Dangerous?
The biggest risk of getting an x-ray is radiation exposure. Radiation is extremely powerful, and studies have shown that it can cause DNA mutations, cancer, and premature aging. Luckily, with dental X-rays, exposure to radiation is quite low. Moreover, technology has come a long away, reducing the amount of radiation dental X-ray machines emit. People with weakened immunities, elderly people, and children are more susceptible to the effects of radiation exposure than others, however, so it is something to keep in mind.
Should I Get a Dental X-Ray?
Unless your doctor has instructed you not to, absolutely! X-rays are the best way for your dentist to get a full picture of your oral health and identify any abnormalities that are not detectable during an exam. Just a few extra minutes in the dental chair can actually save your life!
Not getting a dental X-ray can put you at risk for developing gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
At South Texas Smiles, we practice biological dentistry to let us focus on the connection between your oral health and overall health. We are here to address any questions or concerns you may have about dental X-rays. Contact our friendly staff today and schedule an appointment!