We are too! That’s why we want you to know the facts about the x-rays taken in our office. At Advanced Dental Care, we use digital X-ray to minimize your exposure. The following exposures of bone marrow to radiation during typical medical and dental x-ray examinations are listed below in millirems, a measurement of radiation. Take a look at how dental x-rays compare to other forms of diagnostic films.
The annual maximum occupational exposure for U.S. radiation workers has been set at 5,000 millirems. Low doses spread out over a period of time are not as harmful as larger doses at once because the body has time to recover.
HIGH DOSE GR Pelvimetry: examination to evaluate
proportions of the birth canal 875
Mammography: breast examination 1000
Lower Spine 450
Middle Spine 347
MEDIUM DOSE GROUP
LOW DOSE GROUP
Cervical Spine (neck) 52
Femur (upper leg) 21
Dental (Full mouth series) with Film 10
Dental (Panorex) with Film 2
Dental (Bitewing) with Film less than 0.5
Dental (Full mouth series) with Digital less than 1
Dental (Bitewing) with Digital less than 0.05
You would have to take 2,000 dental x-rays to equal the radiation in 1 mammogram! We would have to take almost 10,000 dental x-rays to reach your maximum safe yearly dose!
To put things in perspective, each time you fly from coast to coast on an airplane you receive 4 millirems of background radiation, or the equivalent of 8 DENTAL BITEWING X-RAYS. Just as well, there is background radiation from concrete buildings, roads, and of course the sun! Just standing around outside for several minutes, you receive more than 3 bitewing x-rays worth of radiation every day!
In fact, several radiologists have published papers indicating low level doses of radiation actually reduce cancer risks!
When you weigh these facts against the serious, progressive disease processes such as cavities, gum disease, abscesses, and cancer that can go undetected without x-rays, it seems like a pretty fair, and extremely safe, trade off.
There is no question that having your dental x-rays taken regularly is well worth it!