How many dental X-rays are too many?


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18 comments

  1. Wally West

    I hadn’t really thought about this being an issue. I have been to the dentist plenty of times because I have really bad teeth. I have gotten a few dental x-rays, but I don’t think that it is enough to be bad for my health. I have needed the x-rays to see what was wrong with my teeth, so it is worth it.

  2. Rhys Rawson

    Thanks for the information on the safety and necessity of dental x-rays. I know dental x-rays can identify hidden dental decay, but I often worry about how safe they are. I fall under the category outlined by the ADA of “an adult with good oral health and low risk of dental problems” so I suppose an x-ray every 2 to 3 years shouldn’t be too bad. Great article!

  3. Name (required)

    8-9 micro sieverts per x ray compared to 3000-4000 a year naturally,, that is good info. thank you.

  4. Vuthy

    I have been taken x-Ray for many time. Because my suspect me to have lung disease. I’m so wary abo my health. And i want to ask you that what wil happen in the near future for my health? What should I do now ?

  5. Ed Maloney

    Why does a dentist always want to take his own x-ray even when another dentist just took one a few days prior which covers the exact same area? Don’t they know their is a cumulative cancer risk? Their techs always pooh-pooh the effect of the radiation by saying it is the same as being in the sun and then they go hide when they take the picture.I had 5 in one week and am concerned.

  6. Ernest Jackson

    I found this information very informative. I am 83 healthy and tend not to accept without question dentist or doctors advice. I recently declined my dentists request for the x-ray. After reading your information I feel justified in my decision. Thanks

  7. Lewis

    How many x-rays is normal for one dental visit? I cannot find this anywhere on line with a google search. This week a new dental assistant took 20 x-rays of my teeth. I have not been having problems and it was at the very beginning of the session and I had not yet had my teeth cleaned. I was there for cleaning and didn’t know they were going to do x-rays. I find dental x-rays very uncomfortable and was not expecting to have them on this visit. I’d had them 6 months ago, but not 20. I think this is excessive. They told me that 20 is their standard in a set of x-rays.

    I was not concerned about the radiation at the time. I don’t like all the messing around inside my mouth for a diagnostic tool which does nothing for my dental hygiene.

    • Larry

      They did the same thing to me. I go for a simple teeth cleaning and get pressured into 18 Xrays, even though I have no problems with my teeth. The Xrays were ordered without the dentist even examining me. Seems like more of a business model for the dentist than interest in the patient. No wonder Dental patient retention sucks.

    • Isa

      I just had my first initial visit with a new dentist today. I have a new plan called delta dental. The tech. Took 18 X-rays in one sitting. She said according to this plan it was required. I have gone to other dentist all my life and never had this happen before. Isn’t this a dangerous practice? They also still put Mercury filings in stead of the safe white filings. Red flag..?. Anyone know what is going on?

  8. Babaesot

    They always have me taken x ray everytime i come in for cleaning or so. I once was told too much of it is bad. Now am more concerned I just had my root canal and had about 4-5 times x ray to check on the tooth they were working on in a matter of an hour. I will have to refuse future X ray.

  9. David J

    I recently arrived in Miami from Montreal. I cannot find a dental clinic here which will even agree to clean my teeth without taking a full set of xrays. “Sorry Sir, we could be liable for undiagnosed conditions”. A Dr does does order body xrays during an annual checkup. “See this grey spot that is a little more grey than the normal grey, well it may not hurt but it will cost you $3000 for us to make it better and by the way your previous dentist was a charlatan and all his work will need to be redone”. I have had enough of this profession!

  10. Gerry

    I have been receiving regular X-rays recently in connection with a root canal procedure I am undergoing. More on Thursday. After the dentist lines up the machine he slaps this heavy shield on my chest then he and his assistant run for the door. I feel like I should be running with them!

    last year after receiving a similar number of dental X-rays I developed a couple of skin cancers on the same side of my face that had to be removed. Just a coincidence presumably?

    I await to see what happens this time.

    • georgeen comerford

      I’ve been thinking the same thing! I’ve developed skin cancer in the exact spot on my cheek where assorted dentists have been directly placing the xray machine extension on my skin (I don’t know the exact term for the device) for bite-wing xrays. Over the years (I’m a senior citizen) starting from the 1950’s,which I’m sure had equipment that produced higher levels of radiation than now, (plus all those times the dentist would do an”extra exposure”- just to make sure he “got it”) have been accumulative. I’m really angry at being told how LOW the radiation is. Really?

  11. Eileen

    I had a lot of x-rays as a child because I had to get braces. I have developed hypothyroidism and I’m wondering since they never put a neck guard on me, if the excessive x-rays may be part of what caused the condition. I recently went to a new chiropractor and the number of x-rays he ordered was ridiculous. I’m angry with myself for submitting to so many. In the end I stopped seeing him for other reasons as well. I agree with a previous person that posted earlier, in that dental and medical professionals are seeing diagnostics as another revenue stream to their businesses. It’s so disheartening. I’m at odds with my current allopathic doctor (I can’t afford a Naturopath) re: mammograms. I refuse. I got a thermogram instead but it cost me $600.00 out of pocket! Healthcare in my province will only pay for allopathic diagnostics so if a person wants homeopathic/natuorpathic they have to pay themselves. The homeopath I went to wants me to have it done every 9 months! It seems everything is about money these days. It’s very discouraging.

  12. Karen

    I had to have a veneer replaced that broke 3 years after I had a done. Since the dentist that made the veneer said it had been 3 years since i had been to his office, the state of MA requires a full mouth xray before he could treat me. He took 20 Xrays of my mouth. Is this normal??

    I am very worried about the amount of radiation exposure.

    Thanks,
    Karen

  13. Logan

    I had a set of braces when I was 14 years old. Then jaw surgery as a young adult. This required another set of braces. Altogether I had numerous X-rays taken for all these procedures. I did not count. After being X-rayed regularly for dental checkups and teeth cleanings, I have within the last 10 years refused X-rays. My teeth are in good health. I have One filing from a spot under one of the caps for the braces. Some dentists require a waiver to be signed to refuse X-rays. This is fine with me to avoid any more radiation.

  14. condor9

    Indeed, I was also given the 18 x-ray treatment two weeks ago. The most I had taken any other time was 8 and only because the dentist knew exactly the issue he was looking for. This time I was simply sat down and told 18 x-rays BEFORE the dentist would even see me.

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