dental x-rays

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

July 17th, 2019

“Are Dental X-Rays Safe?” and Other Questions about Dental X-Rays

Some of the most common questions we get at All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do I or my kids need them? And how often should I get them?

These are great questions (and we love how much you prioritize your health). The answers can get complex quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics here.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Let’s start with the most important issue—safety.

Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce
exposure.

Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the X-ray of today is far superior to those of even just a decade ago.

This applies to children, too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to in an X-ray of the back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.

Why Do You Need X-Rays?

X-rays, also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, that they can’t see through a visual examination. X-rays are especially important for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.

The benefits of X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.

How Often Should I Get Them?

Your X-ray schedule depends on a number of risk factors, including your medical and dental history.

Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every 12 months.

The best way to reduce the number of X-rays you need is to follow good oral hygiene at home.

What type of dental x-rays do you offer?

Here, at All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we use digital xrays that emit the lowest radiation levels. Our hand-held x-ray unit looks like something Buzz Lightyear would use. It's called the Nomad.  Children don't feel intimidated by it since it looks less cumbersome and intrusive. We also use a digital panoramic x-ray machine to evaluate for growth & development and also for timing when to see the orthodontist or oral surgeon for those wisdom teeth.

Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?

Contact us.  If your child hasn't seen the a pediatric dentist, then give contact us and we will help your child establish a dental home for future dental visits.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about digital x-rays check out our website section. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD).  He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

How safe are dental X-rays?

March 23rd, 2016

Dr. Allen Job and our staff rely on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. You can also view digital X-rays in real time while we examine your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chairside computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

But are dental X-rays safe?

Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.

Safe enough for children and pregnant women, digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When Dr. Allen Job and our staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.

Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.

How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays

Instead of using cardboard-contained film, we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.

The increased resolution afforded by digital X-rays means that patients are able to understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by Dr. Allen Job.

Safer, Better and Faster

For detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, digital X-ray technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage.  Contact our office to setup your child's next dental visit.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention.  He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.