Are Dental X-Rays Dangerous?

Dental X-rays are making national news and causing many people to be fearful of receiving dental x-rays. The recent study connecting an increase of the brain tumor Meningioma ( the most common brain tumor and is usually benign) with the increased frequency of dental x-rays, is an important issue to address as many patients are concerned about.

Dental X-Rays (Radiographs) have extremely low radiation. 4BWX x-rays, which is what many people get in a routine exam, give about .005 millisieverts of radiation, according to the American College of Radiology. The exposure is about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun and other sources.

Dental x-rays are an important diagnostic tool of a dental examination. They are important for many reasons as they can expose hidden dental decay, dental abscess, cyst, tumor, show impacted or extra teeth, and also determine the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals. Dental x-rays can also reveal bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease, locate tarter build up, and foreign bodies within the gum or bone, and see if there is enough bone for the placement of dental implants.

In spite of these low radiation levels, Dr. Swanson is very concerned about minimizing the amount of radiation a patient receives at the dental office. We take precautions by using digital x-rays and cover patients with lead aprons during x-ray procedures to protect you from the radiation. Dr. Swanson applies the A.L.A.R.P (as low as reasonably possible) principle to protect his patients. Dental x-rays are very safe and extremely important to you and your dentist and should not be avoided based on unfounded fears about radiation exposure.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding x-rays, please do not hesitate to call the office and speak to Dr. Swanson or one of his staff members at 352-795-1223.