Do Dental X-rays Pose a Health Risk?

Forest Smiles – The Best Dentist in Lynchburg, VA

The Dental X-ray is the most commonly used preventative and diagnostic test that dentists utilize to check for tooth issues in their patients.  It is the standard when going in for your six month to 1 year checkup.  Your dentist may perform Bite Wing X-rays amongst many other types of X-ray scans.  X-rays are taken to identify any indications of harm or oral infection not noticeable amid a standard dental visual exam.  This technique will enable your dental expert to make a benchmark of your  oral wellbeing, which allows them to plan a more exact strategy to manage any continuous or potential issues.  But, should patients fear the X-ray?  Do X-rays pose health risks?


The reason why people may think X-rays can be a cause for concern is due to radiation that is given off at the time of the test.  Dentists, or the X-ray technician will require that the patient wear a protective vest during the examination.  That may cause fear and concern on the part of the patient and wonder as to what exactly is happening and is the patient at a health risk.


To understand if an X-ray is dangerous we should explore what an X-ray scan encompasses.  The scan was developed in the latter part of the nineteenth century and is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has the capability to breach the outer layers of the human body, namely the skin, and fat/muscle tissue.  Images of the bones and large organs are transmitted onto either film or a digital format.  Medical professionals can view the images produced from the scan rather than actually having to perform intrusive medical procedures.


So now that we know what an X-ray encompasses, and that it does give off radiation, lets explore the possibility of health risks associated with X-rays.  The major player here is how much radiation an X-ray gives off and is that amount substantial enough to warrant concern.  Luckily, the amount of radiation an X-ray produces is negligible.  Radiation is in it of itself harmful and dangerous.  But just like many things in the world, if the amount of radiation enacted on the person is minimal, then there should not be cause for concern.


Radiation is present in our everyday lives.  We experience radiation from the sun.  We experience it through minerals and the rocks and soil around us.  At all times there are cosmic rays passing through our bodies and seemingly ignored.  We as a species have developed a tolerance for these types of radiation and the damage caused, if any, is non-threatening if taken in small doses.  The same goes for the radiation produced from dental X-Rays.   For the very short time that the electromagnetic rays pass through our bodies, the radiation is not enough to pose a health risk.  The vest given to us to wear over our chest during the administration of the dental X-rays serves as an added bonus, furthering the protection from radiation on our organs and bodies as a whole.


Besides radiation, dental x-rays pose no other serious health risks.  You should feel confident in your decision to follow your dental professionals advice and have these X-rays done every six months to a year.