A routine part of every biannual dental checkup is dental x-rays, but often patients are concerned about their safety over time. The reason that dentist take x-rays in the first place is to detect issues with the teeth, as well as the gums and jaw, which may not be visible to the naked eye during a routine dental exam. These issues can include cavities, growths and other oral health issues. As with any other physical problem in the human body, early detection and treatment is the key!
In general, the amount of radiation used during today’s digital dental radiography is very, very low. Despite this, the dental team still adheres to the ALARA principle, which stands for “As Low As Reasonable Achievable”. Simply stated, this means that the radiation used is a low as possible, while still being able to get the image.
The dental team will take additional precautions including the use leaded apron, which protects the upper body and abdomen. In most cases a leaded thyroid collar will be used as well, in order to protect the thyroid form damage, as a result of the radiation. Children, women of childbearing age and pregnant women should definitely wear a thyroid collar during any dental x-ray!
As with any other medical procedure, pregnant women should be sure to tell the dental team, including the dentist, that they are pregnant. Dental x-rays are completely safe for pregnant women and their fetus, when leaded aprons and thyroid collars are used.
Posted on behalf of Linda King DDS
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