How Safe are Dental X-rays

Why do dentists need to take x-rays?
Dental x-rays are an invaluable diagnostic tool. X-rays are used during exams to detect tooth decay, bone levels in periodontal disease and other dental pathology. Often by the time these problems are clinically visible or noticeable in the mouth, tooth loss or more complicated treatment may be necessary.
Are they safe?
o   Our office is equipped with digital x-rays which produce 70% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Digital x-rays are even safer now than in the past.
o   The average U.S. resident is exposed to 360 mrems of radiation per year from natural sources.
o   Four digital dental x-rays produce only 0.4 mrems in exposure.
o   During a cross country flight we are exposed to 5 mrems of radiation.
o   A full mouth series of dental x-rays is equivalent to 2 mrems.
o   One mammogram is equivalent to 15 full mouth series of dental x-rays.
While dental x-rays contribute only small amounts to our  patients’ yearly exposure, we still adhere to the safest techniques and lowest dosage possible.