Imaging is a key part of delivering excellent dental care. One of the commonest forms of imaging available is the dental x-ray. Apart from being quick, these x-rays give a good insight into your oral health, and they allow your dentist in Donvale to form treatment plans.
Naturally, you may wonder whether dental x-rays are safe. We’re here to explain why the professionals at our dental clinic in Donvale may recommend one and what the dangers are.
Why you may need a dental x-ray
Your dentist can interpret a lot from just looking at your mouth. However, when it comes to conditions such as tooth decay, what they see in front of them isn’t the full picture. By using an x-ray, they can assess the extent of your decay and form a more accurate treatment plan.
Other reasons to get a dental x-ray include:
- Assessing the direction your wisdom teeth are growing in
- Looking at adult tooth growth in children
- Examining jaw placement and facial bone composition
- Investigating cysts and abscesses
The risks of an x-ray at a dental clinic in Donvale
To achieve the image your dentist in Donvale sees in front of them, an x-ray will deliver a small amount of radiation. It’s for this reason that some people believe x-rays are dangerous.
The amount of radiation present in a dental x-ray is small, though. A typical dental x-ray delivers around 0.005 mSv of radiation. Throughout the year, people living in Australia experience natural background radiation of 1.5 mSv per year. So, the amount of radiation you encounter through an x-ray is minimal.
It’s also worth knowing that even a banana can produce some radiation. Roughly 0.0001 mSv arises from the potassium in each banana. At our clinic, we use digital x-rays that cut the typical radiation dose by 50%. Our dental x-rays produce 0.001 mSv to 0.005 mSv per session. Or, you can think of that as 10 to 50 bananas worth of radiation.
X-rays are safe to use on children, but your dentist may avoid using one during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This is because developing foetuses are more susceptible to harm than children or adults.
Why your dentist in Donvale may leave the room
You may be wondering why it’s common practice for the dentists at our dental clinic in Donvale to leave the room when an x-ray happens. Unlike yourself, your dentist may encounter several x-rays throughout the day. If they work roughly five days per week, this means they would significantly increase their exposure to radiation if they remained with every patient. To limit their exposure, they’ll leave the room and then return when the x-ray ends.
If you have further questions about dental x-rays or would like an appointment at our dental clinic in Donvale, contact us. You can speak with a member of the Holistic Dental Donvale team by calling 9842 6675.