Are X-Rays Really Necessary?

X-rays are one of dentistry’s most vital diagnostic tools. While we have excellent eyes and can spot cavities and other problems on the surface of your teeth, problems can often develop inside the teeth or beneath the gumline. By the time these problems are visible, they may be very painful, have caused significant damage, and are much more costly to fix. X-rays allow us to see inside your teeth and under your gums to spot developing problems early when simple, conservative treatments may still be possible.

Dental x-rays use very little radiation. Standard dental x-rays give off about 0.5 millirems (mrem) of radiation, and digital x-rays give off even less – about 0.1 mrem! By comparison, you are exposed to 1 mrem of radiation flying in a jet for two hours, 10 mrem each year that you cook with natural gas, 42 mrem per breast per mammogram, and 700 mrem for an abdominal x-ray! We also take precautions to lower your exposure even further through the use of lead shields and other techniques. Your safety is important to us, and we feel that the health benefits provided by dental x-rays far exceed any slight risk that they might pose.