Dr. Baruch Tetri

Are dental X-rays safe?

Board-certified periodontist
November 25, 2022

Let’s clear this up – YES, they are safe

During the process of taking a dental X-ray, the dental hygienist is present in the room with the patient and does not wear any protective gear, which speaks to the safety of this procedure. Our clinic utilizes modern digital X-ray machines, which are highly sensitive to radiation and direct it specifically to the area where the X-ray image needs to be captured. This means that the radiation dose received during a dental X-ray is minimal. By the way, when you sit near the window on an airplane during the day, the solar radiation surpasses the X-ray radiation you encounter from an X-ray, not to mention the radiation from 5G.

Additionally, patients are provided with additional protection, such as lead aprons, to maximize shielding from radiation. Dental hygienists wear special badges that measure the amount of radiation they are exposed to during their work. These badges are regularly monitored to ensure that radiation doses remain within safe limits. Thus, all safety measures are in place to minimize risks and ensure the safety of both patients and dental personnel.

Why do we perform X-rays before a cleaning procedure?

Without conducting an X-ray, we cannot fully assess the condition of your teeth and oral cavity. Calculus deposits beneath the gum line, hidden caries between the teeth, and other issues may go unnoticed. Therefore, performing an X-ray is a standard procedure, recommended to get at least once a year.

Pregnancy and dental X-rays

In the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, dental X-rays are not generally recommended, except in situations where it is absolutely necessary to detect an acute problem. During the second trimester, dental X-rays are considered safe and do not pose a risk to the unborn child or the mother. However, in any case, the dentist should be aware of the patient’s pregnancy and take appropriate precautions.