• X-Rays at the Dentist’s Office: How Safe Are They?

  • Ever wonder what is going on when you get x-rayed in the dentist’s office? Fear not, we use the safest procedures here at Hood View Dental. But what exactly is going on? Below is a breakdown. 

    Why are my teeth being x-rayed?

    While teeth are NOT bones, we are able to use x-rays to generate images of your teeth both above and below the gum line. Good clear x-ray images allow us to get the whole picture of what is going on with your teeth. The parts of your teeth that you brush every day are just the top. Each tooth has roots that go below your gum line and anchor the tooth to your jaw. 

    An x-ray image can divulge that a tooth is in fact growing at an angle or stunted in growth. X-rays can also show signs of decay that are difficult to notice with the human eye alone. It is imperative to catch tooth decay as soon as possible to reduce the spread and pain that it can cause to better save and restore your tooth. 

    Having x-ray images on file greatly helps Dr. Reichlein track any sort of changes that might be going on inside your mouth over time. Some changes occur very slowly and do not need to draw much concern. But other issues might lead to rapid change that we will want to address as soon as possible. By being able to reference previous x-ray images we can better assess the rate at which your mouth is changing. 

    Is dental x-ray imaging safe? 

    The levels of radiation exposure you experience while having an x-ray image taken are very low and are considered safe for children and adults. However, if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant you should avoid all forms of x-ray imaging. While the amount of radiation you are exposed to is very low, it still might not be safe for a fetus as they are more fragile. Please let us know if you are pregnant or might be pregnant. We can make other arrangements. 

    How much radiation am I being exposed to? 

    Specifically, the dental x-ray imaging process during your visit exposes you to about .005mSev of radiation. Levels of radiation this low are not hazardous. An x-ray that you experience in our office exposes you to less radiation than many activities you perform every day. 

    You are probably exposed to around .010mSev of ration every single day of your life from all the stuff around us. Radiation exists naturally as a by-product of chemical breakdowns in soil. This radiation percolates through the soil into plants, water, and even the air. By simply breathing, eating, and drinking you are exposing yourself to radiation. When all that radiation is added it equals much more than the amount you are exposed to during dental x-ray imaging. 

    At Hood View Dental we follow guidelines that have been established by the American Dental Association in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration to expose you to the least amount of radiation as possible during dental x-ray imaging. 

    When was the last time you had your teeth x-rayed? Give us a call at  (503) 328-6388 and we can check your records to find out. You might be due for another check-up and x-ray too!