Are Dental X-Rays Safe
X-rays can be an incredibly useful diagnostic tool in many fields of medicine, including dentistry. Dental x-rays are usually recommended yearly to checkup on those parts of the mouth that we can’t see with the naked eye. These tools can catch all sorts of issues in the teeth, gums, and jaw before the problems become fully developed. Specifically, X-rays can uncover abscesses, bone deterioration beneath the gums, tumors, and decay within the teeth.
Wilhelm Rontgen discovered the presence of x-rays in 1895 as a side-effect of other work he was doing. While experimenting with some newly developed devices, he noticed that unknown rays were being produced. Because no one knew what these rays were, he called them ‘x’-rays. Despite having a thorough knowledge of this phenomena nowadays, the name hasn’t changed.
The early days of x-ray research were marked by unintended consequence and injury. When scientists realized the harm of getting frequent high-strength x-rays, they began developing safety guidelines and precautions. In the modern day, we get to live with the benefits of those efforts and the sacrifice of those who participated in the early development of this technology. With the advent of these discoveries and the policies put into place, most of us can go in for a dental x-ray without needing to worry about any ill effects.
X-rays can be frightening for people, and understandably so. When precautions aren’t taken in the design and usage of the equipment, then x-rays can be quite harmful. Thankfully, loads of research and time has gone into making sure that dental x-rays are quite safe the way that we use them. When you go in for a dental x-ray, you can relax knowing that everything will be just fine. If you’re having trouble believing that, then ask your dentist about it at your next Tulsa teeth cleaning; the odds are good that they themselves have had a dental x-ray recently.
Dental x-rays use Low strength radiation that is below the level of what will harm adults and children. However, they are generally considered unsafe for unborn children. Barring mitigating circumstances, pregnant women are advised not to have x-rays during pregnancy. In other situations, you can wear a lead vest for extra precaution and safety. Even with these precautions; low doses of radiation can build up to a dangerous level if exposed too often. What this means for you, is to make sure your that dentist knows how many x-rays you’ve had in the last year.
If you get anxious about dental x-rays, ask the dentist to talk you through the safety features, and to explain why low levels of radiation are safe. If you already understand all of this but can’t help feeling anxious about it, the dentist may be able to provide some help with that as well. You may also request that the dentist use the lowest radiation setting possible on the x-ray machine; this will reduce your radiation exposure but may negatively impact the quality of the images obtained.
If you’re still uncertain about x-rays and want to talk to a real expert on the matter, then come down to Tulsa Modern Dental for a Tulsa teeth cleaning, and let the dentist put your fears to rest. Simply click this link to schedule an appointment.