If you’ve read any health news today, you have probably read the recent articles discussing a possible link between dental x-rays and benign brain tumors. And yes, we saw that too, and actually we’re are glad this new information has come out. Reducing radiation exposure is something we’ve been focused on for the last 10 years in our practice. In fact, the dental x-rays we now are using means with 85% less exposure to you.
Of course, nobody really wants ANY radiation, but there is a purpose for it. The x-rays are the only way to look underneath the surface of teeth. It’s often underneath the surface where people get bacteria that are eating away at the tooth and also into the nerve. Without taking a look underneath it can be almost impossible to detect until its too late, kind of like a mechanic not being able to look under the hood of the car.
However , we will always make sure you get to choose what is best for you. I know some people are very nervous after the new story. Dental x-rays are no different to any other x-ray given by a doctor or in a hospital. There is certainly a risk involved in receiving any type of radiation, however, there is also a risk involved in never seeing what is below the surface, especially if you are having pain or other health issues.
Some people may respond by accepting the risk of radiation, the same way they would react to receiving an x-ray at a doctor’s office, because they want the peace of mind of knowing everything is okay underneath their gums. They will be happy the radiation is reduced by 85%, and receive x-rays as recommended (usually every 2-3 years, unless you are having issues or your dentist otherwise recommends because of your personal health history). Other people may say they are willing to accept the risk that things will grow worse beneath the surface of their teeth and gums, because they don’t want to risk the radiation. That is understandable also, and we always respect our patients and their health preferences.