Many of you have probably had your annual dental x-rays taken at the dentist, and can remember an assistant covering you in a lead apron to protect your organs. We probably don’t think twice about the safety of these invisible x-rays, and also probably assume that the lead apron is going to protect us from all of the harmful radiation that goes along with this process. Despite the once-a-year frequency and all of the current measures taken to minimize our exposure to x-ray radiation, there is still a potential health risk.
Are Dental X-Rays Really A Necessity? Potential Health RiskOur heads are bombarded with x-ray radiation during the process of taking x-rays of our teeth. While this is still essentially the only accurate method of being able to detect some dental-related diseases and cavities, we are still exposing ourselves to needless radiation. For most of us that have had a history of healthy teeth and gums, we probably do not need to get x-rays taken once per year. These really are not as big of a necessity as we are lead to believe.
It is true that many cancers and diseases can be detected early thanks to x-rays, there is an balancing act between the potential harm done by this exposure to radiation and the benefits of early detection. Mammograms also recently came under scrutiny, as some claim that they cause more cases of breast cancer than they detect. This is the same type of rallying cry being belted out about the regular use of dental x-rays. Some people are claiming that our radiation exposure may be causing more cases of brain tumors and other cancerous growths that would otherwise not exist.
Whether you believe that your annual exposure to radiation is causing a large number of cancer cases or not, you should still question whether or not it is worth the while to have your x-rays taken each year. If you are comfortable with the radiation exposure and feel that it puts you at little to no risk, then continue to have them done. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who worries about the effects of radiation exposure, do some research and talk to your dentist about whether it will really be necessary given your own personal medical history.
Featured image from Wikipedia.
Are Dental X-Rays Really A Necessity? Potential Health Risk.