Many people harbor concerns that they will be exposed to too much radiation if their dentist wants to give them  x-rays. The concept of a camera that can take a picture of the inside of your teeth is understandably difficult to fathom. What you may be surprised to find out, however, is that our bodies naturally give off small amounts of radiation every single day. In fact, if you sleep next to someone, you are receiving as much radiation from them over a year as you would from a set of dental x-rays at a six month exam. Your Richardson dentist, Dr. Diep Truong, explains why radiation from x-rays is nothing to feel concerned about.

Why Do Dentists Take X-rays?

The concept of an x-ray is virtually the same as a regular photograph. The only difference is that x-rays have enough energy to go through your body. Having the ability to procure internal images of your teeth provides valuable information to your dentist. The position and development of teeth, details of the roots and jawbone, and early formation of cavities will be clear on a dental x-ray. Bone density issues from gum disease can also be uncovered at an earlier time. If you have existing fillings, the dentist can make sure they are still in good shape. Crown placement is made more precise thanks to x-ray technology.

The Truth About Radiation Levels

The unit for measuring radiation levels is called mrem. The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) estimates that the amount of radiation that the average American is exposed to each year is 360 mrem. Usually, your dentist will take x-rays no more than once a year. The amount of radiation you are exposed to from those X-rays is just two to three mrem.

For perspective, here are some approximate measurements of radiation levels in background sources you might not think have anything to do with radiation. You actually get more radiation from flying across the country. or a year’s worth of cooking with gas. If you live in a brick house, you will receive five times more radiation over a year than you would from getting x-rays at a dental appointment.

Schedule Your Dental Exam in Richardson or Dallas

If you are truly concerned about radiation levels, we offer low radiation digital x-rays at Viva Dental.  Call our Dallas dentist office at (214) 337-7800, or our Richardson dentist office at (972)437-6000. We are proud to offer comprehensive family dentistry to patients in the 75211 and 75080 zip codes, and surrounding neighborhoods.