When parents bring their young children to our office, one of their most frequent concerns is the safety of x-ray technology. It’s a valid question: traditional x-rays can expose children to an uncomfortable amount of radiation. Our office uses digital x-ray technology to provide a much safer means of looking into the mouths of our patients.
Here are the 3 facts that you should know about the safety of digital x-rays:
Digital x-rays expose patients to smaller amounts of radiation than traditional x-rays
This modern form of x-ray technology emits 80-90% less radiation than the x-rays administered by dentists in years past. Let’s get super scientific for a minute: A digital x-ray exposes your child to 4 micro sieverts (a standard measurement unit used to measure radiation). By contrast, a cross-country air flight would provide an exposure level of 40 micro sieverts and even eating a banana provides a minute dose of .1 micro sieverts.
But enough science talk, we promised not to bore you with statistics. The simple fact is that your child is exposed to low levels of radiation on a daily basis and at such small amounts, there is no need to worry.
We are exposed to radiation everyday
You may not know this but, on average, you—and your child—are exposed to radiation through a variety of sources that you come into contact with every day—for starters, the environment, televisions, cell phones, food, and sunlight. Even air travel is a source of radiation. That said, while exposure to radiation isn’t desirable (for example, we’re not recommending that you seek it out by standing in front of a circa-1980s microwave!), the small amounts that your child is exposed to in digital dental X-rays are no cause for concern.
The benefits of digital x-rays strongly improve dental care
Additionally, the benefits of X-rays outweigh any perceived drawbacks. For one thing, they allow Dr. Lordo to look for decay and offer proactive treatment before cavities form. Additionally, he can determine if there’s enough space in the mouth to accommodate your child’s adult teeth.
So, don’t allow fears to keep your child out of the dental chair—digital X-rays really are quite safe and help us keep your child’s mouth healthy.