Dental X-rays are a routine part of regular dental checkups. Getting a few every year or so isn’t a big deal, but is it safe for Dental Assistants to be exposed to X-ray radiation on a regular basis? After all, it’s well known that too much X-ray exposure can cause serious health problems, and a single Dental Assistant may take thousands of X-rays over their career! Fortunately, thanks to state-of-the-art technology, this isn’t something to worry about. Read on as we go over everything you might need to know about dental X-ray radiation exposure as a Dental Assistant.
How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?
Dental X-rays are essential for catching oral health issues developing under the surface before they have a chance to become worse. If it weren’t for X-ray imaging, these conditions may go unnoticed until they begin to cause irreparable damage or intense pain. For most healthy adults with pretty good oral health, X-rays are only taken about every 2-3 years. However, not every patient is the same. For example, if a patient has a history of oral health conditions, they may need to have X-rays taken more frequently. As a Dental Assistant, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be taking a lot of dental X-rays throughout your career
Do Dental X-Rays Give Off Radiation?
X-ray technology has evolved by leaps and bounds since it was first invented, and now it is safer than ever. Nearly all practices use digital X-rays, which give off a fraction of the radiation that traditional X-rays used to. This is all to say that yes, even digital dental X-rays give off a small amount of radiation. However, this amount is so small that it’s practically negligible. In fact, you’re exposed to more radiation on a daily basis going about your normal life walking in the sun and around power lines than dental X-rays! So they are very safe.
Do Dental Assistants Need to Protect Themselves from X-Ray Radiation?
Naturally, any machine that emits radiation should be handled with caution. Make sure to thoroughly understand the training you receive to use the X-ray machine. Fortunately, there is such little radiation given off from a dental X-ray and it is so tightly aimed at the patient, that there is no need to be concerned. Overall, radiation from dental X-rays does not pose a threat to Dental Assistants. Even if you use it repeatedly, as long as you are handling it properly and not taking any unnecessary risks, a dental X-ray machine will be no more dangerous than any other piece of dental equipment.
About the Practice
At NE Dental Academy, we’re committed to helping our students start their new career with a running start and all the knowledge they need. Our expert-run program is practical and designed to work for people of all walks of life, so you can enjoy a meaningful and successful job as a Dental Assistant. If you have more questions about what it’s like to become a Dental Assistant, we can be reached online or at (508) 425-6644.