At our office, we use the latest all-digital radiography to achieve the highest-quality diagnostic imaging and to reduce radiation exposure. All digital radiography can reduce the amount of radiation exposure up to 80% compared to traditional film.
The radiation exposure from standard digital dental X-rays is very minimal. One bitewing X-ray (the standard X-ray to check for cavities between the back teeth) is approximately 0.001 mSv of radiation. To put this into perspective, a 3.5-hour plane ride is estimated to expose an individual to ~0.01 mSv of radiation, or 10 times the amount of a bitewing X-ray. A standard medical chest X-ray is ~0.1mSv, or 100 times the exposure of a bitewing; and a chest CT scan is ~7 mSv, or 7000 times the exposure. In one year, the average American is exposed to approximately 3.1 mSv in background radiation from the sun and other sources. To put that statistic into perspective, the average bitewing X-ray is approximately one 3000th of your annual natural exposure.
Considering those statistics, we truly believe the benefits from taking annual bitewing X-rays greatly outweighs the risks associated with avoiding them. Avoiding X-rays for extended periods of time can lead to undiagnosed cavities in between the teeth that are not visible upon clinical examination. These undiagnosed cavities can and will get larger over time. When diagnosed at a much later stage, these teeth will be more problematic, often resulting in root canals, crowns, abscesses, and extractions.
Drs. Tracy Bowden, Austin Bowden, and Vidisha Sharma, our talented dentists, invite you to learn more about the benefits of digital X-rays in Timonium, Maryland, by contacting our office at 410-828-5699 today. Please feel free to schedule an appointment if you feel your child needs to see a dental professional.