Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ARE DENTAL XRAYS SAFE?



Dental xrays require exposure to very low levels of radiation—which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small—and most people only need one set (4-Bitewing x-rays) taken once per year. The number of x-rays you need is determined by your risk for gum disease and dental decay.
What about the radiation I’m exposed to? 
Advance Family Dental has used digital x-rays since 1998. Digital x-rays reduce patient radiation exposure by 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. In general, dental x-rays emit lower levels of radiation than other medical x-rays.
Did you know? 
J  People who live at high altitudes are regularly exposed to higher levels of natural radiation.
J  The amount of radiation you receive from a single dental x-ray is about 3 millirem but radiation from background cosmic radiation is about 350 millirem.
J  The amount of radiation from a dental xrays is the same as a cross-country flight
J  A mammogram uses 500 millirem per breast, the same amount of radiation you receive from an x-ray of the lumbar spine
Why are X-rays necessary?  
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. They enable Dr. Zollinger to look at what is going on between teeth and under the gum as well as showing the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.   Dr. Zollinger uses this information to detect hidden dental problems and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.  
How often should dental x-rays be taken?  
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Dr. Zollinger only recommends X-rays that are medically and dentally necessary, based upon his review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.  If you are a new patient, Dr. Zollinger may recommend radiographs to determine the present status of the hidden areas of your mouth and to help analyze changes that may occur later. If you have had recent radiographs at your previous dentist, please ask to have the radiographs forwarded.  
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!  
For more information on dental radiographs, visit the American Dental Association's website on x-rays.

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