Dr. Miles asked the questions, are dental X-rays safe?
Dr. Miles has determined after many years of research and study, the individualized radiographic exposure of radiation that we are exposed to from dental X-rays is very small compared to our daily exposure from things like, cosmic radiation and naturally-occurring radioactive elements (for example, those producing radon).
The table below compares our estimated exposure to radiation from dental X-ray with other various sources. As indicated below, a millisievert (µSv) is a unit of measure that allows for some comparison between radiation sources that expose the entire body (such as natural background radiation) and those that only expose a portion of the body (such as X-rays).
Annual estimated average effective dose of equivalent received by a member of the population of the United States:
SOURCE Average annual effective dose equivalent
- Inhaled (Radon & Decay Products) 2000 200
- Other Internally Deposited Radionuclides 390 39
- Terrestrial Radiation 280 39
- Cosmetic Radiation 270 27
- Cosmogenic Radioactivity 10 1
- Rounded total from natural Sources 3000 300
- Rounded total from artificial Sources 600 360
- Total 3600 360
As a comparison, dental Panoramic X-rays 6-13
Intraoral X-ray 0.005 *(approximate effective radiation dose)
Cone Beam Volume 43-468
Medical CT maxilla-mandibular volume 2100
One can see from the above chart that the amount of radiation from dental X-rays is negligible, very low as a comparison to other sources of exposure.
Dr. Miles pointed out equivalent risks to (Film Base X-rays) or another way of looking at risk, is to look at other related daily activities, that is, situations in which a person has a one in a million risk of dying.
- Living in NY NY for 2 days breathing the pollution increases risk of death to 1/1,000,000
- Canoeing for 6 minutes
- Cycling for 10 miles
- Riding in a car for 300 miles
- Drinking water in (Miami) for 1 year
- Smoking 1.4 cigarettes
- Flying 6000 miles
- Working in a coal mine for 3 hours
- Drinking diet soda, 30 cans
- Living in Denver for 2 months (mile high City)…natural radioactivity
Source: B.L Cohen and I.S. Lee, “Catalogue of risks, Extended and Updates”, Vol. 61, September 1991
Dr. Miles concludes that dental X-rays are safe and should not be a concern for dental patients. As technology change, X-ray equipment continues to develop techniques that improve and limit the amount of radiation exposure.
At The Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry,” procedures and techniques are in place to provide a safe environment for all our patients. For example, mandatory use of Thyroid Collars is required on all pregnant women and patients who have cancer or have had cancer. Every necessary precaution is in place to protect and in sure the safety of our patients.
In addition, our digital x-ray technology reduces radiation by over 95% of regular film x-rays!
Feel free to contact Dr. Anne A. Nicholas for question or concerns you may have concerning X-ray in place to protect and in sure the safety of our patients.