Are dental X-rays really necessary? How safe are they? As an Alexandria dentist always concerned for his patient’s needs and health, Dr. McMillan and his team are happy to provide insight into these matters.
The purpose of dental X-rays: Providing pictures of teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissue helps screen for and identify problems with a person’s teeth, mouth, and jaw.
What they show: Cavities, cancerous or benign masses, hidden dental structures such as wisdom teeth, and bone loss are revealed on X-ray even though not detected by visual examinations.
How X-rays work: A very controlled burst of a minute amount of radiation penetrates oral structures before striking the sensor readout. Teeth will appear lighter because less radiation penetrates them. Dental caries (cavities), infections and other changes in bone density appear darker because the X-ray can readily penetrate those less dense structures. Experts at McMillan & Associates know precisely how to read what they see.
The amount of radiation: A full mouth series X-ray is said to be comparable to the dose received during a cross-country airplane flight (though concentrated into one short burst aimed at a small area). Incidental exposure is further reduced by the use of a lead shield, lead apron, and sometimes a lead thyroid collar.
Interestingly, low dose digital X-rays are the newest improvement in dental diagnostic imaging and they reduce the exposure by about another 75%! At McMillan & Associatesour Alexandria dentist can offer you this state-of-the-art imaging. Join our patient list today!