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Radiation Facts about Dental X-Rays

There is growing concern about the dangers brought about by radiation e Xposure coming from dental X-rays. Occupational e Xposure limit has been set by government regulations at 5,000 millirems. This means an individual can be safely e Xposed below this amount without harm.

To put things in perspective, we are e Xposed to 350 millirems every year. E Xposure usually occurs when we're flying on an airplane or through cell phone use. As for dental X-rays, you need to have one 70 times every year in order to reach the maximum 5,000 millirem set by regulations.

There are three types of dental X-rays: full mouth, bitewing and panoramic. Since these X-rays are only aimed at particular areas in the mouth, the radiation levels coming from them is low. Usually, the radiation doesn't reach the other parts of the body.

On average, a typical dental X-ray produces about 5 millirems only. Most of the radiation is directed only to the jaw. There's no need to be concerned about the dangers brought about by dental X-rays. It would take about 2,000 dental X-rays before it could cause harmful effects to your body. Panoramic X-rays emit less radiation; this is the safest option among the three X-ray types.

Nevertheless, to reduce radiation risks associated with dental X-rays, the American Dental Association has advised dentists not to use older equipment. For pregnant patients, you should at least inform your dentist of your preference for newer X-ray models. Furthermore, the dentists organization also recommended the use of higher voltages, better fitters and faster films to limit radiation e Xposure periods.

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