Dental xray safety

MOST OF OUR PATIENTS KNOW dental X-rays are essential diagnostic tools that provide information not visible during a dental exam.

In fact, dental x-rays allow Dr. Brucken & Dr. Stubbs to properly determine any damage or disease, as well as the integrity of your teeth, roots, and surrounding bone.

Discovering and treating oral problems before they get out of hand is the best way to save unnecessary time, money, and pain – yet some are skeptical about x-rays and have questions about their health impact.

With help from a Health Physicist from Idaho State University, let’s answer some questions and learn some interesting facts.


X-rays are energy in the form of waves, identical to visible light. In fact, the only difference between light and x-rays is that light doesn’t have enough energy to go through your body and x-rays do. Both can make an image on photographic film, so both types of energy are used to make pictures; light makes photographs of the “outside” of objects, x-rays make pictures of the “inside” of objects, including your body.

Dental x-ray safetyGOOD NEWS: We have some good news for those of you with concerns!  Dental x-rays pose very little danger AND Comfort Dental utilizes digital x-rays which are quick and require even less radiation (as much as 80% less). 

HOW OFTEN X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.

FACT:  The amount of radiation you receive during routine x-rays at Comfort Dental is MUCH smaller than the amount you receive daily from natural radiation sources, like standing in the sun.

Exposure to tiny amounts of radiation is a natural component of life!

NATURAL RADIATION: Each year, the average United States citizen is exposed to about 360 mREM from common things like the earth itself, natural materials, cosmic radiation, and even from other people!  In fact, the State Department of Health has set the yearly maximum safe radiation level at 5000 mREM.

Dental x-ray exposure


VERY LITTLE DENTAL X-RAY RADIATION: Our dental x-rays only emit .30 mREM per unit…SO, even if you have a full mouth series taken, you’re still only being exposed to a mere 6 mREM! This means you’d have to have around 700 full-mouth series to really be at risk!  (We generally take just one full-mouth series every 3 years & bitewing x-rays once a year.

X-RAYS ARE A SAFE AND IMPORTANT PART OF DENTAL CARE: Dr. Brucken and Dr. Stubbs use them to diagnose problems that we might not otherwise be able to detect. We promise you’re in the best of hands at Comfort Dental, so don’t let x-ray fears worry you.

Ask the DentistsIf you ever have any questions or concerns regarding dental x-rays – or any other dental related topic, please don’t hesitate to Ask the Dentists! We would love to help put your mind at ease and hope to see you soon!