Dr. Dilmohit Singh
Pediatric Dental Surgeon
X-rays are highly energetic form of electromagnetic radiations which have very short wavelength. They have ability to pass to wide range of material. In humans also they are able to pass through various structures and have biological effects on them.
X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen way back in 1895. Since then X-rays were used in wide variety of applications such as:
1) Diagnostic purposes
2) For Treatment Planning
3) Therapeutic purposes
In dentistry x-rays have wide applications and they may be broadly divided into:
1. Intraoral Xrays Such as IOPA (Intraoral periapical radiograph), Bitewing radiographs and occlusal radiograph
2. Extraoral Xrays such as Panaromic Xrays, CBCT etc
Both intraoral and extraoral radiographs are used for diagnostic purposes and for the treatment planning.
A person may be exposed to various electromagnetic radiation not only in clinics or hospitals but also in the environment in the form of natural background radiations.
A person during an year receives 3-4 millisievert in an year in the form of natural background radiations depending upon where he/she lives, latitude, altitude, rocks and various other environmental factors.
The person living in higher altitude receives more radiations as the air become less dense with the altitude.
American Dental Association recommends as low as reasonably achievable dose of x-rays as possible according to ALARA principle by making use of fast films, lead apron, thyroid collar etc.
According to ADA ie. American Dental Association
- Children who are not as high risk of dental decay or oral problems should receive dental x-ray every 1-2 years.
- Teenagers or Adolescents who are not at high risk should receive x-ray at 1.5-3 years.
- Adults who are at low risk should receive them at every 2-3 years.
Dose of X-rays that a person receives during the dental treatment is as follows:
1. Intraoral Periapcal radiograph (IOPA) 0.001-0.005 mSv
2. Bitewing Radiograph 0.004 mSv
3. Panaromic Radiograph 0.007 mSv
4. Cone Beam CT 0.009 mSv
Traditionally dose received during one dental xray was around 8-10 micro sieverts but with the advancement and with the digital x-rays the dose has further reduced to 1-5 microsieverts (0.001-0.005 millisieverts)
Effective dose that a person receives during dental treatment with one X-ray is 0.005 mSv which is equivalent to one day of natural background dose.
Are X-rays harmful during pregnancy?
X-rays should be avoided during first trimester as these rays may have harmful effects on growing embryo. The dentist must weigh the risk to benefit ratio and take the least possible x-rays. If at all any dental x-ray is required during pregnancy, the patient must wear lead aprons as well as thyroid collars.
Dentist must use the least possible x-rays for patients. X-rays should be used as boon and not as bane.
If you have any further queries- Kindly consult the doctors at Texla Dental Hospital.