Radiation is one of those words that makes us all a little uneasy. We all want the minimum of carginogens, pecticides, or any substance that can accumulate in our body and cause harm. So I empathize with my patients when they hesitate when asked if we can update their X-Rays.
For a minute I’d like to step away from the fear of radiation and look at 1. The exposure in the dental office and 2. What Ivy Dental is doing to lower your risk
For starters here is a chart that is helpful to understand really how much radiation we are talking about when your dentist takes an X-Ray.
That’s right, a single typical dental XRay is half way between eating a banana and living an extra day in the world. Your typical 4 image Xray series taken once a year ( aka “bitewings” ) to help your dentist detect cavities between your teeth is equivalent to a flight half way across the country. Are you not flying due to the additional background radiation you will absorb from the change in elevation? Probably something most have never put much thought into.
Other things that expose the average person to radiation that may surprise you;
- Living in a stone or brick building
- Sleeping next to someone…b/c we all emit some radiation
- Having antiques in your home
- High potassium foods (potatoes, carrots, red meet, BEER!)
The Average person’s exposure is 620 millirem/year. My calcuation for me personally came out to 490 millirem! If you’re curious, calculate your estimated dose.
Now what is Ivy Dental and Dr. Harding doing to even further lower your exposure?
As a Charlottesville dentist who values being high tech Dr. Harding has implemented using a portable, Nomad XRay unit in conjunction with being all digital.
We don’t even have to leave the room! The Nomad combined with the digital sensors are 80% lower radiation than the old school films.
In short, we at Ivy Dental are doing everything we can to lower the already significantly low dose of radiation that you are exposed to in the dental office. If you have concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to ask but it is our hope that you feel a little better about getting those recommended XRays to catch tooth decay early and keep your dental treatment to a minimum.
Added bonus…. we can use the XRay gun to scare the neighbors 🙂