We are all exposed to all sorts of radiation daily,  including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, like your TV, and dental X-rays.  We know that large amounts of radiation can damage the body’s tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small. The question on many people’s mind is: how much exposure is it really?  Many people know that dental x-rays are low in comparison to other x-rays, but what a lot of you truly want to know is how much radiation is it in your relative terms. 

How much radiation are we exposed to in a dental x-ray?

As a result of the many inquiries we get about dental x-rays, we’ve done some research for you.  Let me put it to you in relative terms.  Radiation is measured in units of “absorbed dose”  and we can safely absorb small amounts of radiation daily.  For example, sleeping next to someone results in 0.5 of those radiation units.  One banana provides us with another unit.  Normal background radiation dose in ONE day is about 10 of those units. 

How does it compare to other daily activities?

So in comparison, a digital dental X-ray measures 0.5 units, which is equivalent to sleeping next to someone or having half a banana.  So next time you worry about your dentist taking digital X-rays and want to reduce your exposure, take the X-ray and pass on the banana or sleep alone for a night.  You might get a better night sleep and a piece of mind from knowing that your teeth, bone and gums are healthy.  🙂

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