X-rays use radiation to give your doctor or dentist a look inside your body, and are very commonly used. However, just the thought of radiation is enough to make some people question having x-rays done. Is it safe to have even one x-ray? Are they really even necessary when you are at the dentist’s office just for a cleaning and exam?
Are x-rays dangerous?
X-rays are actually quite safe. Your body will be exposed to a very low level of radiation, and that will only last for a fraction of a second. The radiation is minor compared to radiation we are exposed to every day, such as that from the sun. It has less than a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of causing cancer.
Why does my dentist x-ray my teeth?
For this little amount of risk, x-rays have many benefits. They are quickly done and you can’t feel them. They are an important part of your dental care: they can help your dentist to find issues between and underneath your teeth, such as decay underneath a filling or between teeth, an infected tooth root, or bone loss in the jaw. They can even show more serious problems, such as tumors. And, an x-ray helps your dentist to create a treatment plan for you if you are getting braces, implants, or dentures.
Dental x-rays are an important part of your child’s care, as well. Your child’s dentist will use x-rays to make sure incoming teeth are coming in correctly and that there will be enough room for them. He or she will also want to make sure that your child’s jaw is developing properly.
All of this being said, if you are pregnant you should let your dentist know before getting an x-ray. X-rays are beneficial, but they can most likely wait until after the baby is born, just to be safe. If you have any questions about dental x-rays or your oral health, contact Arlington Dental Aesthetics or South Riding Smiles. Call today for an appointment! Call the Arlington office at (703) 214-3183 or the South Riding office at (703) 214-3185.