How much radiation do I get from a dental x-ray and how does it compare to other medical procedures?
X-rays have two sides. There's the good side. X-rays take pictures of all kinds of things inside your body. They help doctors and dentists find out what's going on, good and bad, and how to treat it. But do x-rays have a bad side? Some people think so. They shudder when the word is mentioned; the word is radiation. It conjures up images of atomic bombs and all sorts of destruction. An x-ray is indeed a type of radiation. Instead of destruction, however, it is an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of all parts of the human body and that includes teeth. What is an x-ray? It is energy that takes the form of waves and has the power to go through your body. Why does your dentist x-ray your teeth? If you look at your teeth in a mirror, you see only the surface of the teeth and gums, and that's all your dentist sees. The dentist uses an x-ray to show up small cavities between the teeth, making them easier and less expensive to fix at that point. In addition, an x-ray allows the dentist to see if you're due for root canal or a crown. Any growths in the jaw, such as possible tumors, although rare, will show up too.