Digital X-Rays: Only Slightly More Dangerous than a Banana


Are you one of those people who fears a dental visit, not because of the possible drilling, but the dental x-rays? Radiation has been cited as the cause behind a list of concerning ailments and diseases, but in the case of modern dental care and x-rays, that connection is overstated and downright inaccurate. Most dental offices in Nashua have long relied on digital x-rays to capture the most in-depth understanding of your dental condition.

Look, I get it… my aunt still won’t buy a microwave because she’s convinced the rays will zap her into oblivion. But, the fact is, foregoing digital x-rays on your next trip to the dentist is arguably more dangerous than getting them done. After all, eating a banana is only slightly less dangerous… allow us to explain.

Radiation is Everywhere – And That’s No Cause for Panic

Seriously. Radiation is all around us. But don’t expect your skin to glow or to suddenly secure any amazing superpowers because of it. And the same goes of getting a digital x-ray at your local dentist’s office.

What is radiation?

As we know, knowledge is power and we fear what we don’t understand. So, in order to boost your knowledge base and allay your fears, consider the following from the Health Physics Society,

“Radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through space and may be able to penetrate various materials. Light, radio, and microwaves are types of radiation that are called non-ionizing…Ionizing radiation is produced by unstable atoms. Unstable atoms differ from stable atoms because unstable atoms have an excess of energy or mass or both. Radiation can also be produced by high-voltage devices (eg. x-ray machines).”

Everyone, calm down… this is not a Looney Toons cartoon. “High-voltage” here is not connected to an Acme product.

As the HPS further explains: “Atoms with unstable nuclei are said to be radioactive. In order to reach stability, these atoms give off, or emit, the excess energy or mass. These emissions are called radiation. The kinds of radiation are electromagnetic (like light) and particulate (i.e. mass given off with the energy of motion). Gamma radiation and x-rays are examples of electromagnetic radiation….x-rays come from the electronic part of the atom.”

Where and when do we encounter radiation?

Everywhere and all the time. But, in vastly different doses, of course.

Take a peek at the following graphic to understand why these very necessary dental x-rays are harmless. In order to understand how these comparisons are made, you need to know that radiation is measured in units called mSv – millisievert. Simply put, these are doses of radiation that exist in various objects and environments.

So, why do dentists insist on digital x-rays?

The fact remains, digital x-rays are one of technology’s evolutionary milestones. Without them, dentists would struggle, as they have in the past, to fully review, evaluate, and diagnose a patient’s complete dental picture. In order to have a more in-depth, comprehensive perspective, dentists need to use digital x-rays to accurately access a complete view of patient’s dental health and identify any issues that might otherwise have gone undetected.

Undetected. A more anxiety-inducing word than radiation, I might argue.

In defense of your optimal dental health, allow your dental hygienist to take digital x-rays of your teeth at your next visit. Haven’t booked a visit? Or, yikes! Never had digital x-rays taken? Take a hot minute and correct your course of action.

Call Karen at Crown Dental, #603-521-7739, and get in the groove with this glowing team of dental experts!












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