Dental X-rays, also known as radiographs, are images taken of your teeth so your dentist can impeccably assess your oral health and identify problems such as cavities and tooth decay. These X-rays are used to capture pictures of the insides of your gum and teeth keeping the level of radiation in mind.
Why Dental X-Rays Have To Be Performed
Typically, dental X-rays should be performed every year. However, if the dentist is keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the dental treatment or problem, dental X-rays may happen more often.
There are certain factors that affect the frequency of dental X-rays.
- Current oral health
- Symptoms of oral infection or disease
- History of tooth decay or gum disease such as gingivitis
Are There Any Risks Involved In Dental X-Rays
Although dental X-rays involve radiation, you don’t have to worry. The exposed levels of radiation are so low that they are completely safe for adults and children. In the case where your dentist takes digital X-rays rather than develop on film, the dangers from radiation exposure become even lower.
The dentist lays a lead “bib” on specific areas of your body such as your chest, pelvic region, and abdomen so that unnecessary radiation exposure is prevented on your vital organs. In the case where the patient has thyroid conditions, a thyroid collar is also used.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?
Generally, pregnant women are advised that they should avoid dental X-rays. Although the radiation is nominal, it’s best for the developing fetus that all exposures are steered clear of. For this reason, you need to make sure you tell your dentist beforehand if you are pregnant.
Still, there are some cases where pregnant women have to get dental x-rays performed. They may be in the course of their dental treatment plan that entails x-rays to be taken during their pregnancy. The best way for them to proceed is to inform their dentist and discuss the issue.
It is vital you balance your dental health and your fetus’s. Women who have periodontal disease are found to be at a greater risk of unfavorable pregnancy outcomes, so make sure you don’t neglect your teeth in your pregnancy.
Don’t Worry. Your Dentist Will Ensure Safety Measures With Dental X-Rays
If you are feeling apprehensive about getting dental x-rays, you do not have to worry much. Your dentist will take many precautions to minimize the harmful effects of x-rays radiation . Rather than taking multiple images, they will try to make do with a single image. This helps decrease your exposure to x-rays significantly.
You should talk to your dentist to keep the settings on the lowest radiation possible, especially if you need to get dental x-rays taken on your children. In case if you need to get dental x-rays during your pregnancy, your dentist will take greater precautions by using a thyroid collar and leaded apron. Leaded coverings helps protect your body from the harmful effects of radiation.