Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping to detect bone loss and disease during a regular dental hygiene exam. In order to minimize the number of x-rays taken and to protect you and your children – the frequency of taking x-rays depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. Your dental hygienist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.
X-rays are not taken “automatically”. X-rays taken in our clinic are digital and can be forwarded with your permission and consent to a dentist or other health care provider.
When taking an x-ray, a lead apron with thyroid collar is always used at Lifetime Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic.
If a previous dental provider has any radiographs of you, you may ask you for copies of them. Ask us to help you with forwarding your X-rays.
Dental X-ray exams are safe; however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. Dental X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonable Achievable (the ALARA principle).
A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental radiograph is taken. Also, a leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should also be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children. (ADA)