How safe are dental X – rays?
It is a well known fact that exposure to any kind of radiation source, such as the sun, all home appliances, minerals in the soil, as well as all types of X – rays, including the dental one, can cause damage to the tissues and cells of the human body, and in some cases it can even become the result of the development of cancer. Therefore, it should also be noted, that the radiation dose, people are exposed during the X – rays procedure is extremely small and it rarely causes any serious problems.
In addition, advances in dentistry over the past years have lead to much lower levels of radiation emitted by the nowadays X – rays. To some of these improvements new X – ray machines may be referred, which help to limit the radiation beam to the least area being X – rayed. To other advantage refer the following ones:
higher speed X – ray films, which require shorter time of exposure, as compared with older film speeds to get the same results;
the application of film holders, which keep the film in place in the mouth, preventing it from getting slipped and from the necessity to repeat an X – ray procedure, thus, causing additional exposure to radiation;
the application of lead – lined, full – body aprons, which provide the protection of the body from stray radiation;
It should also be noted, that in accordance to the federal law, all X – ray machines are to be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, and in some states the checks are conducted even more frequently.
However, even with all the above mentioned modern advancements in safety, everyone is to keep in mind that all the effects of being exposed to any kind of radiation are added together during the person’s lifetime, and this is why every least bit of radiation one receives from any possible source of it counts.
What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?
Sealants are called thin tooth coating, made of plastic, which are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, which protects the teeth from being decayed. As a rule sealants are applied on the back teeth, such as molars and premolars. The painted on liquid sealant bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth quickly, forming a kind of protective shield over the tooth enamel.
It is considered that children should get sealants on their permanent premolars and molars as soon as these teeth come out completely. Thus, the sealants will provide protection through the cavity – prone years of ages 6 and up to 15 or so. It should also be noted, that adult people, who do not have any decay of fillings on their molar teeth can also take benefits from sealants.
Sealants can provide up to 10 years protection from decay; though it is necessary to check them for chipping or wear at regular check – ups at the dentist office.