Every six months your dentist highly recommends you make an appointment to have a cleaning. During your appointment, you’re likely to have dental X-rays taken; it’s like clockwork. The dental hygienist will take you back to your comfortable dental chair, you’ll take a seat, and the hygienist will take X-rays without telling you about the harmful amounts of radiation it may cause you.
WAIT – LET’S PAUSE FOR A SECOND; ARE DENTAL X-RAYS HARMFUL?
What do you know about dental X-rays? Did you know that dental X-rays pose some harm to a patient’s health? Studies completed by the American College of Radiology have revealed the amount of radiation exposure of four bitewing dental X-ray poses about .005 millisieverts of radiation to an individual. To put this amount of radiation into perspective, this is about the same amount of radiation an individual soaks up from a normal day out in the sun, as well as around a few other sources. Additionally, a panoramic dental X-ray (the X-ray machine which swivels around your head) has about twice the radiation, which is also an unharmful amount of radiation. Understandably, while this may seem like a small and non-concerning amount of radiation in which you and your family are being exposed, in the long run, it could pose serious health risks.
IF YOU SAY “NO” TO DENTAL X-RAYS, WHAT IS YOUR OTHER OPTION?
An up-and-coming technology in the dental world is digital radiography X-rays. For safety reasons, family and kids dentists are starting to use digital radiography to capture images of patient’s teeth, and this is where many of the similarities between conventional dental X-rays and digital radiography X-rays end.
There are many similarities to conventional X-rays and digital radiography X-rays, including bitewings and the picture of your teeth viewed after the X-rays are taken; however, there are several key benefits for patients who visit a dentist who uses a digital radiography X-ray machine in place of a conventional one.
DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHY X-RAY BENEFITS
LESS RADIATION EXPOSURE
If you thought the radiation exposure in conventional X-ray machines was low, decrease the number by 90 percent. Digital X-rays expose patients to 90 percent less radiation in comparison to conventional X-ray machines. While both are considered relatively safe, digital radiography X-rays are the perfect option for patients who are concerned with the amount of radiation to which they or their loved ones are being exposed.
HIGHER QUALITY IMAGES
Unfortunately, when conventional X-rays are taken, they’re taken with a one-size-fits-all mentality. When you opt for digital radiography, pictures of your oral health will be taken, which can be both magnified or enlarged to get a better visual of your teeth. In addition, dentists may also adjust the color of your X-rays to contrasting colors to allow for a better view of cavities, etc. Plus, if you would like a copy of your X-rays, your digital images can easily be printed out free of charge.
EASILY TRANSFERABLE DENTAL RECORDS
When you decide to switch kids dentists, it can be a pain. Your new pediatric dentist will most likely require new X-rays using the older conventional X-ray method. This alone will increase the amount of radiation you should ever have to be exposed to during your lifetime.. Conversely, when you have a dentist who offers their patients the best and newest technology, such as the digital radiography X-ray machine, transferring records is easier. With a quick copy of files, your new dentist will have all of the pictures from your last dental visit, and even prior visits. Additionally, if your dentist would like a second opinion in regards to your oral health, they can send off the images to another professional to receive a second opinion without the patient having to get another X-ray taken.
Did you know digital X-rays are better for the environment? How? Because digital radiography pictures are directly sent to a computer, there are no harsh chemicals being used to develop the film. This means there is no waste in a darkroom, and there’s no need to store film. Digital radiography X-rays are a win-win!
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO FOREGO A CONVENTIONAL X-RAY FOR DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHY TECHNOLOGY?
At Encino Pediatric Dental Health, our pediatric dentists’ goal is to keep your family as healthy and as safe as possible. We truly believe you deserve the best, and we only provide the best technological advancements. This means we have looked past the conventional X-rays many other pediatric dentistry offices in the area use; instead, we give patients a less-harmful option for receiving dental X-rays: Digital radiography x-rays. With the amount of radiation exposure decreasing, we know you’ll feel more confident in our dental practices. Feel free to learn more about our technology by giving us a call today at 818-306-3070.