How safe are X-rays?

Different sources of radiation include the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays — these can damage the body’s tissues and cells and possibly lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays. Some improvements are, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth, which prevents the film from slipping and having to take another x-ray. Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons, this protects the body from stray radiation. In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.​

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