Parents frequently ask us about radiation and the danger associated with dental X-rays. Most of us at Redwood Pediatric Dentistry are parents ourselves so we understand the concern. That’s why we wrote this blog post to help answer any of the concerns you may have about dental X-rays and your child.
A Few Words on Radiation
When we talk about the word “radiation,” it is easy worry about the negative effects it can have on our health. However, the dental X-ray technology used today has improved significantly compared to past X-ray technology. Nowadays, we are exposed to much lower amounts of radiation in a much shorter amount of time than we were in the early days dental X-ray technology.
Do Dental X-rays Cause Cancer?
There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet about radiation and X-rays. So naturally, this is one of the most common questions we get asked at the office.
Frequent and unnecessary dental X-rays can increase the risk of getting cancer in the same way excessive exposure to the sun without protection increases the risk of getting cancer. By only taking dental X-rays when necessary, our pediatric dentists reduce the amount of exposure your child experiences and keeps X-rays from negatively affecting your child’s health.
How Much Radiation Is in a Dental X-ray?
The average American receives a dose of 3 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation each year from natural sources, such as the sunlight and elements in soil. Routine dental X-rays only emit around 0.04-0.15 mSv, which is significantly less than the radiation which comes from natural sources. A patient would need to get at least 20-40 X-rays a year to experience the same amount of radiation exposure they would receive from natural sources.
Why Are Dental X-rays Important?
Some parents are concerned about dental X-rays and their children. Contact our Salt Lake City children’s dental office if you do have concerns related to dental X-rays. We want to help you understand the importance of X-rays and how they help us identify problems with improper teeth growth, jaw issues, and other developmental concerns. We also use X-rays to evaluate decay within the teeth and to identify problems before they become serious and require extensive treatment.
If you have additional questions about dental X-rays and your child’s oral health, contact our Salt Lake City children’s dental office today, (801)281-8881. We are looking forward to helping your child learn great oral hygiene habits that will help them enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile their entire life!