What is the utility of dental radiographies?

Dental radiographies, being an essential complement to the detecting and the examination, enable to diagnose more accurately the state of your mouth, and help to determine:

  • The presence of dental decays
  • The osseous level, and the stage of gums diseases
  • The presence of abscess, cysts or tumours
  • The development and the accurate place of the teeth

To which dose of radiations am I exposed during a dental examination?

During an oral radiography, the dose of radiations emitted is approximately 0.01 to 0.08 mSv (the millisievert is one of the measuring units of radiations. 1REM=0.01 Sv3-4-7). The maximum allowed for the general public is 1 mSv per year, and 20 mSv for the workers exposed to radiations, like the dental hygienist and the dentist.

The digital radiography enables to treat the radiological image in a different way. However, it remains a source of radiation, although weaker for some of the radiographic types of examinations.

Is the wearing of a lead apron necessary?

The reproductive system must be protected by a lead apron, and the thyroid gland by a collar. The use of the collar is particularly important for children. The apron and the collar must have a lead equivalence, respecting the established standards (> 0.25 mm).

Radiological examinations and the pregnant woman:

For the pregnant woman, it is better to avoid radiographies during the first quarter, and to do them only in the event of absolute need. It is necessary to avoid radiographies of the pelvic area, in order to not irradiate vainly the unborn child. Two elements are important to consider: the transmitted dose, and the examined area. The dose transmitted for a dental radiography is rather weak (approximately 0.0074 mSv for a panoramic radiography), and the examined area (irradiated) is not located near the pelvic area, nor in its axis. Thanks to the use of a lead apron on the chest and the abdomen of the patient, a dental radiography is not likely to cause injuries to the unborn child. However, the no-urgent procedures can be postponed after the birth, at the request of the patient.