Do dental x-rays cause harmful radiation exposure?

There are many conditions and anomalies which appear only on x-rays and do not appear clinically: dental abscesses, decay between the teeth, bone loss from gum disease, cysts and tumors, missing adult teeth, the list is extensive. The idea of minimizing risk to achieve this vital information is our standard of care. We use the lowest levels of radiation possible and our patients always wear a protective lead apron. If we can get a copy of a recent x-ray from a previous office we always try to do so. It is always the patient’s choice to refuse x-rays, but it may affect your quality of care and definitely affects our ability to diagnose as accurately and often early in the disease process.