Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist about Radiation

Our exposure to radiation is now seven times higher than it was in the 1980s. While most of that comes from CT scans, body X-rays, mammograms, and other forms of medical imaging, there’s another common source of radiation you could be getting every six months when you go in for a teeth cleaning.

The details: In general, the dental industry is developing new methods and practices that expose people to lower levels of radiation now than ever before. “It’s in line with, or even more advanced than other fields of medicine,” says Erika Benavides, DDS, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the department of periodontics and oral medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. The problem is that dentists themselves don’t seem eager to invest in all those new low-radiation methods.

Last fall, a New York Times investigation revealed that about 70 percent of the nation’s dentists are still using older, D-speed dental film, which exposes people to nearly 60 percent more radiation  Continue reading