What Is Dental Radiation?
Dental radiation is produced through the use of dental x-rays or dental radiographs. The amount of radiation produced depends on the type of x-rays being taken, the number of x-rays taken and the type of dental x-ray technology.
Dental x-rays or radiographs produce low levels of radiation when compared to other types of medical x-rays. With the introduction of digital x-ray technology, the amount of radiation produced is significantly reduced. With some digital x-ray technology, dental radiation levels are reduced as much as 90% while resulting in high-quality dental x-rays!
An x-ray is a form of energy that passes through soft tissue and is absorbed by thick tissue or dense tissue. Because bone and teeth are thick, they will absorb the dental x-rays while the x-ray passes through the cheeks and gums. Dental x-rays are an important part of a customised dental treatment plan. X-rays are used to diagnose dental issues and used to detect potential issues before they become widespread or severe. X-rays allow dental professionals to:
- Detect cavities
- Monitor the roots of the teeth
- Check the bone health around the teeth
- Look for signs of periodontal disease
- Monitor incoming teeth
- Provide preventive dentistry
Radiation Exposure Levels
Most people are not aware that during their daily activities in their natural environments, they are being exposed to radiation throughout the day. The commonly recognised radiation limit for the general public is 1 millisievert (mSv) per calendar year. When four bitewing dental x-ray images are taken, a patient is exposed to 0.004 mSv. This is 0.4% of the yearly maximum that is generally allowed. The yearly maximum of allowable radiation varies depending on the geographic area.
This amount of radiation is minimal when compared to other types of diagnostic imaging and when compared to daily environmental radiation exposure.
When it comes to your dental care and overall health, we follow the A.L.A.R.A principle. This means that we try to limit radiation to As Low As Reasonably Achievable. Rest assured that when you entrust us with your dental care, we take all necessary precautions to limit your radiation exposure.