Digital Radiography

DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHY

Appropriate radiographs are a valuable adjunct to the oral examination of infants, children, and adolescents. Many of these radiographs allow the dentist to evaluate areas of the teeth and surrounding bone and tissue that would not be possible otherwise. The US Food and Drug Administration and American Dental Association have established guidelines for the recommended prescription of radiographs. Dr. Rob and Dr. Stefanie use these guidelines, along with the specific history and clinical findings of each patient, to judiciously recommend when radiographs are needed. These recommendations will be discussed with you and you can decide what is best for your child.

SAFETY OF X-RAYS

  1. Digital radiographs typically reduce radiation exposure by about 75%
  2. Radiation exposure is measured in mREM, the average person in the US is exposed to about 360mREM per year just from naturally occurring background sources. Background radiation comes from outer space, the earth, natural materials and even other people.‍
  3. 5,000mREM is the federal total effective, whole body, yearly occupational dose limit.
  1. The average digital dental x-ray delivers about 0.3mREM.
  2. A panoramic x-ray delivers about 2mREM.
  1. Flying cross country exposes a person to about 3-5mREM
  2. Cooking with natural gas exposes us to an additional 10mREM per year
  3. Living in a brick building adds an additional 10mREM per year compared to a wooden structure
  4. Simply sleeping next to another person exposes you to an extra 2mREM per year
  5. To equal the amount of radiation the average citizen picks up from naturally occurring background sources each year, the dentist would have to take 950 digital x-rays.

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