Dental X rays
Why do I need X-rays?
One of the things we look for is dental decay between the teeth where we can’t see it with the naked eye. In addition, some of the other things we evaluate and look for are: Receding bone level (sign of periodontal disease), supernumerary (extra teeth), missing impacted or un-erupted teeth, jaw bone cancer or bone cysts, early signs of bone loss, root fragments, root configuration and calcifications, sinus evaluation, abscesses of the teeth or gums, tooth position, foreign objects, hairline fractures or cracks, tartar below the gum line, filling overhangs or open margins, TM Joint problems etc. We get so much information that’s relevant to your dental care that we must say your x-rays can be crucial to a thorough diagnosis.
Here’s a strange factoid: Did you know that you get the equivalent x-ray dose of 2 dental radiographs every time you fly from Toronto to Montreal (from the sun’s x-rays penetrating the thinner atmosphere and the plane's Aluminum hull)?
The following exposures of bone marrow to radiation during typical x-ray examinations are listed below in millirems, a measurement of radiation. The figures were taken from "RADIATION", a book by radiologist Dr. Martin D. Ecker and Norton Bramesco. As you can see, Dental X-rays have an extremely low radiation exposure!
|HIGH DOSE GROUP||mrem|
|Barium enema: lower GI series||875|
|Mammography: breast exam per breast||500|
|Small bowel series||422|
|MEDIUM DOSE GROUP|
|LOW DOSE GROUP|
|Cervical spine (neck)||52|
|Femur (upper leg)||21|
|Dental (full mouth series)||9|
|(18 x-rays with a total of 9 mrem)|
|Dental (one x-ray)||0.5|
What precautions are taken?
We protect patients of all ages with a lead apron. We use ULTRA HIGH SPEED films that can be exposed with minimum time (1/10 of a second) and all the walls of the operatory are lead-filled (x-rays don’t pass through lead). All dental personnel taking your x-rays are H.A.R.P. certified. (Healing Arts Radiation Protection Commission)
What if I think that there is a chance that I may be pregnant?
Embryonic tissues are sensitive to x-rays. If you are in the first trimester of pregnancy or think you are pregnant, please tell us. We avoid taking x-rays at this time unless you have a dental emergency.
Dental X-rays are an indispensable adjunct to your clinical records, complete diagnosis and care. Even if you have no dental problems, screening for hidden problems by taking x-rays based on your current oral health conditions and past oral health history we can effectively safeguard your dental health by detecting some conditions before they worsen and become BIGGER problems.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about your dental x-rays, please let us know.