A lot of my patients are concerned about radiation. I am too. Fortunately the x-ray system we use really minimizes the exposure to radiation.
I use digital sensors in my practice. They have a lot of advantages. They reduced radiation exposure by 90%. They also allow me to enlarge them so I can diagnose better. I can send them as attachments through email. Also they don’t require any chemicals to develop so that is good for the environment.
I use a handheld x-ray unit. It allows us to take the x-rays quickly and minimizes retakes which also reduces radiological exposure. I’ve found that with the handheld unit I can reduce the exposure time dramatically which is a big advantage to my patients. Long gone are the days when an assistant positions a giant x-ray unit inches away from your brain and then runs out of the room before taking the x-ray. This x-ray unit is designed to look like a camera to make you feel more comfortable and be aware that we are avoiding your exposure to radiation!
Even with the technology advances, we still use the same lead aprons with thyroid shield to further reduce exposure.
Last, I really do try to minimize the number of x-rays that I take. You’ll find that in my office, before I take a single x-ray, I’ll do an oral evaluation to determine your cavity risk. We may take as few as two x-rays on your first visit and then we may put off more x-rays for one to two years. I don’t have a standard number of x-rays that we take at each visit.
So x-rays are very important to diagnose dental problems but with technology and common sense we can minimize exposure!