The facts about dental x-ray radiation

Have you ever wondered how much radiation you receive from a dental x-ray? We’ve broken down the numbers so you can take a closer look.

There are a number of situations in which your dentist will use radiographs during patient treatment. At Pimpama Dental digital bitewing x-rays are taken for this purpose. Your dentist uses these xrays as a diagnostic tool for reasons such as:

  • To check the patient’s susceptibility to decay
  • To study any changes in the entire tooth, crown, root and/or the pulp chamber and root canal
  • To assess the presence of infection or other problems in the mouth
  • To see if the position of the teeth needs to be changed
  • To assess the condition of the bone
  • To assess any soft tissue pathology
  • To determine the closeness of vital structures to the teeth or teeth e.g. nerves and lower wisdom teeth

As for the radiation, here’s how digital bitewing x-rays stack up against other types of x-rays and other sources of radiation.

Procedure/Source Dose (msV)
Dental bitewing xray (digital) 0.005
OPG Panoramic 13 sec 0.038
Dental CBCT 0.05 – 1.1
Chest Radiograph 0.03
Flight Brisbane – Melbourne – Brisbane 0.03
Mammography (4 films) 0.40
Background radiation in Brisbane (per year) 2.20
Bone scan (Nuclear Medicine) 6.30
CT abdomen examination 8.00
Earliest onset of radiation sickness 750.00

It’s safe to say, you’re going to need a lot of digital bitewing x-rays before you have anything to worry about. There’s probably no need to hold off on a return flight to Melbourne either… at least as far as radiation is concerned.

If you have any dental concerns or are in need of a check up, contact us today.