We are all concerned with how much radiation we receive throughout our lifetimes, and it is important to limit unnecessary exposure as much as possible in our lives. But it is also important to weigh the risks and benefits of procedures and make decisions that are the best for our whole lives, and not just for one variable like x-ray exposure.
The amount of radiation that the average patient receives per year from our office with a set of digital x-rays is likely less than 0.5 millirems. This is roughly equivalent to radiation that you’d get from just one hour traveling in an airplane. More people are concerned with the scanners at the airport than the flight itself, which is the greater source of radiation.
Even though the risks are very low with dental radiographs (x-rays), we still want to be sure to minimize the amount of radiation you receive and will only take them when it is in your best interest. If you have a higher chance of having dental problems such as cavities, root canal issues, or gum disease, we may recommend more frequent digital images, because the benefit to you for saving your teeth far outweighs the risk you take of having the radiographs imaged.
You might notice is that we leave the room any time that exposures are made because we are much more likely to get higher doses of radiation than you are since we are around it daily. But all of us feel very safe working around radiation because we understand how to use it properly.
Let us know if you have any other questions about radiation exposure. We are very aware of your concerns because we have the same ones as well, and want to take care of you the best way possible.