Every so often teeth work involves sitting underneath a cumbersome lead cover while an ominous device points directly at your face: it’s the X-ray. Some tend to worry about the effects of an X-ray. The more you know about how such a device functions, the less there is to fear – especially with all the precautions and advances in technology that optimizes patient safety.
X-rays (also known as radiographs) can help to uncover problems before they become serious issues, preventing a more costly and difficult fix later on. X-rays work by sending radiation through the teeth to get a visual of the teeth and surrounding tissues revealing problems that may result in a root canal or crowns or regarding any other dental situation.
Let’s look at the major types of dental X-rays:
The benefits of the X-ray are the predictive capabilities that allow it to detect problems before they progress to a state where they are more difficult to rectify.
X-rays do use radiation, this is true. However there are measures to reduce the amount of radiation intake and the radiations involved in the dental offices are minimal. Firstly, the dentist will enquire about any other X-rays or radiation exposure you have received in the previous months.
If it is okay to proceed with the X-ray, the dentist will cover you with a lead blanket, shielding your body from any potential radiation entering those parts. As for the X-ray itself, technology has improved to reduce exposure in two parts.
The first is that there is reduced scattering, meaning that the radiation that does enter is as focused as possible. The second is the film speed which has been increased significantly in order to reduce the amount of time you are exposed to the radiation.
Digital x-ray is the lowest radiation method used and it’s the one we at the Carrefour dentaire use most frequently but film x-rays are still indicated in some situation and still have to be done when needed.
Precautions are always taken to help to reduce exposure to radiation and your dentist will ensure that your safety is maintained while providing the best care for your dental health.