How safe are Digital Dental X-Rays?
Posted on 05/23/2022

Dental X-Rays are common when it comes to dental and orthodontic work. At Mack Orthodontics, we use X-Rays to diagnose and treat issues that we can't see with the naked eye. When you visit your Bettendorf and Eldridge, IA area orthodontic office, you should expect at some point or another to receive X-Rays. You may be wondering, though, how safe are digital dental x-rays?

What IS a Digital Dental X-Ray?

Most people are familiar with the concept of an X-Ray, but what about a digital X-Ray? The result is the same with both, but the latter is a more technologically advanced, simple version. X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to capture images inside the body. Traditional X-Ray machines use film to record the image, but digital X-Rays work by using sensors to transmit the image straight to a computer.

Are Digital Dental X-Rays Safe?

All X-Rays are relatively safe when used sparingly, but it's true that whichever type of X-Ray is being performed comes with a small set of risks. X-rays emit radiation, and in high concentrations, radiation has been known to cause cancer. When using X-Rays in moderation, such as the 1-2 times a year it's recommended for dental purposes, the risk of negative effects from radiation is very small. As small as that risk is, it decreases even further when a digital X-Ray is used. In fact, the amount of radiation emitted from a digital X-Ray is just 10 percent of the amount found in traditional X-Rays.

To put it further into perspective, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) lists the maximum exposure in a year for those working around radioactive material at 5,000 mrem, and 100 mrem for the general public. A singular digital X-Ray consists of 0.1mrem. Studies show that radiation exposure is higher in common naturally occurring situations, such as drinking water, sitting in the sun for a day, or through common activities like flying in an airplane and even cooking.

While there is of course always a teeny-tiny risk of being exposed to any radiation, the overall consensus is that digital X-Rays are a very safe method of capturing dental issues beneath the surface. It's certainly riskier to let underlying problems go unnoticed.

Start Your Treatment at Mack Orthodontics

All this talk of X-Rays may have reminded you it's time to schedule that appointment you've been thinking about at Mack Orthodontics in the Bennendorf and Eldridge IA areas. Contact us to get started on your orthodontic journey. We promise you're in good hands!