Dental X-rays are an important tool that dentists use to diagnose and treat any oral health issues you may have. But are dental X-rays dangerous? Read on to find out. …
How Do Dental X-Rays Work?
In an X-ray, healthy teeth appear lighter than your gums and other areas of your mouth. Areas that have tooth decay or infection will look darker on the developed image because they are unable to absorb as much of the X-ray as a normal healthy tooth does. In addition to tooth decay, X-rays can help your dentist identify abscesses, cysts, tumors, and other conditions that may require a dental treatment plan.
There are several different types of X-rays, and the ones you receive will depend on the area of your mouth the dentist needs to see in closer detail.
Are Dental X-Rays Dangerous?
Dental X-rays deliver a very low dose of radiation, so they are considered to be relatively safe. The dose of radiation that a person receives during an X-ray is similar to the exposure that is emitted by household appliances like TV sets and smoke detectors.
When you have an X-ray, your dental professional will place a lead bib over your chest, abdomen, and pelvic area. This protects your vital organs from the radiation you will be exposed to. In addition to the lead apron, some children and women of childbearing age are fitted with a thyroid collar to prevent any unnecessary radiation exposure to your vital organs.
Should Pregnant Women Get Dental X-Rays?
While we already know that the radiation delivered by dental X-rays is extremely low, if it is possible, pregnant women should avoid having X-rays taken. However, if a pregnant woman is suspected of having a serious dental problem, it’s probably urgent enough that an X-ray should be taken. The lead apron and thyroid collar generally provide the necessary protection for both the woman and the unborn child.
Similar to brushing your teeth and flossing daily, X-rays are an important part of your overall dental health. Several factors, including your age, general health, and insurance coverage, will determine how frequently you need X-rays.