Are dental xrays dangerous for your health? That is a question posed in an article posted last weekend on CNN.com titled, "Are Dental X-rays Dangerous?"
This is actually not a new question as dental professionals have been wrestling the dilemma for many years of how to balancing the diagnosis benefits afforded by dental xrays with the potential health risks of radiation exposure. At Boger Dental we follow ADA guidelines and believe it is necessary to consider an individual's personal health history and personal habits when recommending how often dental xrays are necessary.
Weighing Pros And Cons Of Dental X-Rays
There's no question that dental xrays are an invaluable tool for seeing into the structure of a tooth and the surrounding area to detect decay. They are a crucial diagnostic tool used in all aspects of dentistry. Without them it is impossible for a dentist see between someone’s teeth, as well as beneath their gums or bone. In fact, there are several diseases and dental conditions that can only be detected with the aid of dental xrays.
Since dental decay is not painful, decay can develop without the person even being aware. Without the insight from dental xrays, the dentist can only diagnose and treat what is actually visible in their mouth. With the evidence apparent in xrays, dentists can identify problems early on and help the patient to avoid pain as well as the expense of extensive dental treatment.
The ADA has developed an evaluation tool using the most up to date scientific information called the Caries Risk Assessment. Based on a number of factors, gives an objective assessment for how often it is recommended for that person to have xrays taken.
These factors include:
- Exposure to fluoride
- Family health history
- Eating habits
- Medical condition and prescribed medications
- Dental care habits
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Is the patient pregnant
- And clinical conditions such as exposed root surfaces, filled surfaces, orthodontic appliances, etc.
At Boger Dental, we understand the concern and do everything we can to promote overal health while minimizing potential risks. Many years ago we invested in digital xray techology. In addition to benefts such as no wait time,and being able to view and save the images right on the computer screen, they use less radiation thatn the typical x-ray. In fact, digital x-rays reduce exposure to radiation by nearly 80%. When you are in our care, we will consider the situation and assess whether an x-ray is justified and necessary to diagnosis and treat a tooth. Your health and well-being is always our top priority.
If you would like to know more about our digital dental x-ray technology, please ask! We would be happy to discuss this with you at your next appointment.