Are Dental X-rays Really Necessary?

Most of you have probably heard or read about the health concerns associated with dental x-rays.  The latest news indicates that dental x-rays are to blame for non-malignant meningioma brain tumors.   It is true that the side effects of radiation are well documented and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.  Having said that, keep in mind that the amount of exposure from one, or even several, dental radiographs (X-Rays) is minimal when compared to the diagnostic information that they provide your dentist.

It is unfortunate, but true, that most people wait to come to the dentist until they are experiencing some level of discomfort.  In order to provide the proper diagnosis and treatment, a dentist must know where the problem lies in order to accomplish successful treatment of the affected area.  A dentist, just like a medical physician, greatly relies on what an x-ray can detect in order to properly and safely treat their patient.  Also, keep in mind, that if an insurance company is involved with the reimbursement of any dental treatment, they often require that an x-ray be taken in order to be assured that treatment was neccessary.

There are many different types of x-rays and they are responsible for providing different types of information to your dentist.  They reveal roots, nerves, ligaments, surrounding bone, fractures, abscesses, growth abnormalities and tumors.

Your general physical health can be greatly affected by your dental health.  Your dentist has your best interest in mind and takes many precautions to ensure that you are exposed to as little radiation as possible when x-rays are needed.  The age of the patient, their general health and their dental needs are of utmost importance when making the decision to order x-rays.  Our office is equipped with lead lined walls and lead lined aprons are used to drape vital organs.  We use fast-speed films and have our euipment regularly inspected for our patients safety.

The dental profession is doing its best to protect the patient and ease the public’s apprehension about radiation exposure. By becoming knowledgeable about this issue, and expressing your concerns, you should be able to create a cooperative partnership with your dentist. In most cases, without the information that an x-ray affords the dentist, he/she cannot render treatment as effectively.