Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Posted June 8, 2021.

Some of the most common questions we get at Montgomery & Conroe Comprehensive Dental Centers have to do with dental X-rays. Are they safe?  Why do I or my children need them?  How often should I get them?

These are great questions!

Let’s start with the most important question… are they safe?

The FDA and the ADA test dental X-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages.  These governing associations revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure.  Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, protective aprons and thyroid collars, X-rays today are far superior to those just a decade ago.

This applies to children too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to in an X-ray of the back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.

Next….why do you need X-rays?

X-rays help your dentist spot conditions like cavities, tooth misalignment and abscesses that they cannot see through a visual examination.  They are especially important for children since they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.

The benefits of X-rays include diagnosing decay and pathology of any abnormalities.  These far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.

Now… how often should I get them?

Your X-ray schedule depends on a number of factors including both your medical and dental history.

Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every six months.

Call our office(s) if you have any questions or would like to schedule a check-up.  The overall oral health of our patients is our top priority.