Do I really need to have dental X-rays? Are they safe?

Dental x-rays are an integral part of a complete dental exam. We use them to help us keep your mouth healthy by facilitating in the diagnosis of dental cavities, dental and periodontal (gum) infections, assessment of underlying bone levels and also more serious dental pathologies.

With- out X-rays many dental diseases will go undiagnosed and eventually create fairly severe and potentially painful problems. As with all areas of health care, the best outcomes are achieved with prevention and early diagnosis; X-rays allow us to diagnose problems much earlier than would otherwise be possible. Additionally, when dental treatment is required it
is important for us to know the underlying anatomy of the tooth/area prior to operating to prevent potential accidents. Although dental x-rays do expose patients to very small amounts of radiation, dental practitioners use the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle as well as safety devices like the lead apron and thyroid collar to minimize exposure. Only x-rays that are deemed necessary are taken, and at scientifically determined safe intervals. The amount of radiation experienced during yearly bitewing radiographs (used to diagnose cavities) is the same amount of radiation experienced during a 4 hour night or 1 day of background radiation that we all experience daily – a very small amount of radiation! If you have