Dental Radiography

Dental Radiography | Chagrin Falls OH

The Effects of Dental Radiology

There have been a couple interesting articles in the news the past year or so related to dental X-Rays and possible health implications related to having them done.  I wanted to share a few interesting facts to help put our patients at ease.  In our everyday lives, we are exposed to radiation that cannot be avoided.  The average person experiences about 3.1 mSv (millisieverts) of background radiation in one year.  In comparison, the average radiation experienced during a full mouth series of dental radiographs is 0.1 mSv. Four bitewing radiographs, which is what we take on average once per year, has a dose of about 0.005mSv.  When we look at medical imaging, a standard chest CT has an effective dose of about 7mSv.  Obviously, these imaging methods are sometimes necessary to diagnose potentially life-threatening conditions.  But, in comparison to dental radiographs, the exposure of medical imaging is significantly higher in terms of effective dose.  When we look at the dose of a standard set of four bitewings, we would have to do this 620 times to equal the amount of background radiation we receive.

Dental Radiology in Chagrin Falls, OH

One of the guiding principles in dentistry is the ALARA rule - As Low As Is Reasonably Achievable.  What this means is that we aim to expose patients to as little radiation as possible in order to properly diagnose and treat conditions of the oral environment.  That is why we take bitewing radiographs on average once per year and full mouth series on average every 3-5 years.  At Chagrin Family Dental Care we take patient safety very seriously and we hope that this brief article can calm any fears you may have related to dental X-Rays.  If you have any questions, please feel free give us a call.