The newsLINK Group - Digital X-Ray Exposure

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | General Dentistry Topics: Dental, X-Ray Title: Digital X-Ray Exposure Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Completely eliminating your exposure to radiation is not just impractical. It’s impossible. You are exposed to radiation every day: from the earth, the air around you, and from the space that surrounds the earth. Editorial: Digital X-Ray Exposure 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Finding a Balance Completely eliminating your exposure to radiation is not just impractical. It’s impossible. You are exposed to radiation every day: from the earth, the air around you, and from the space that surrounds the earth. At the same time, it is a good idea to minimize your exposure as much as possible in order to limit damage to your cells. After all, reducing exposure to radiation is the main reason why shoe stores no longer use shoe-fitting x-ray machines. The only place you might see one today is in a museum. If you can’t completely eliminate radiation exposure, you should definitely limit it as much as possible. But that raises an important question. Under what circumstances should you allow an x-ray to be taken? And in particular, when should you allow a dentist to take an x-ray of your teeth? The first issue to be concerned about is the amount and frequency of radiation. The good news about having dental x- rays done is that the amount of radiation necessary is extremely small. That means the risk is correspondingly small. Estimated exposure, measured in millisieverts (mSv), is 0.038 for bitewing radiographs and 0.150 for a full-mouth series. The amount of radiation required for a full-mouth series is more than three times what you are exposed to, on a yearly basis, from space; it is 20 times more than you are exposed to from the earth and the atmosphere. The second issue to be concerned about is the benefit of having the information that x-rays give about your dental health. And the truth is, the benefits are much bigger than the risk. Why Dentists Value Dental X-rays The greatest benefit to having an x-ray is that it allows your dentist to see problems when they are small, and take care of them promptly. An x-ray can reveal decay between the teeth or under a filling; it can tell your dentist that you have a bone infection or periodontal disease, tumors, cysts or abscesses, and developmental abnormalities. If you have ever had dental work done, you know that the earlier a problem is caught, the less painful and traumatic it is to treat. Doing necessary work early might even be the difference between success and a permanent problem. An x- ray makes that early work possible. Being Careful Each situation is different. If you have a complicating situation, like pregnancy, you should discuss the benefits and risks with your dentist before making a final decision. Waiting is not necessarily the best decision; for example, an untreated dental infection can hurt the baby as well as the mother. If you and your dentist decide an x-ray is the best course of action, the dentist will definitely ensure that you are exposed to as little as radiation as possible. Sources: X-Rays: What is the Risk? Texas Dental Journal. 1995;112(2):68-72. Return to Top ... Radiation exposure resulting from dental X-rays is low. However, every precaution is ... www.ada.org/2760.aspx http://www.museumofquackery.com/devices/shoexray.htm Word Count: 465 Copyscape Clear Date: 12.15.2014

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