How Much Radiation Am I Getting From Dental X-rays?

May 19, 2023

Patients often wonder if dental x-rays are safe. The radiation exposure from dental x-rays during a routine check-up is about 0.005 mSv, which is less than the average amount of natural background radiation received in a day. Radiation comes from the sun, our cellphones, riding an airplane, and can even be found in some of our grocery staples. To put into perspective, one banana can emit about 0.0001 mSv of radiation. Therefore, eating 50 bananas would be the rough equivalent of one dental x-ray. Moreover, a passenger flying from New York to Los Angeles will receive a radiation dosage eight times greater than a dental x-ray.

Dental x-rays allow dentists to see inside and between teeth where dental problems such as tooth decay or bone loss may be hiding. Finding these problems as early as possible allows for less invasive and more cost-effective treatment. Otherwise, these hidden problems may lie undetected until it has reached an advanced state that requires more aggressive intervention to manage. To conclude, the small amount of radiation from a dental x-ray outweighs the risks that many fear

This article was published on 05-19-2023 in The Altamont Enterprise.