My dentist is always pushing 3D X-rays on me. How often should dental X-rays be done? I want to minimize my radiation exposure. R N Shinde, Mysore By 3D X-rays, I assume you mean CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography). CBCT is a new type of X-ray examination for patients which produces a 3D image of your teeth and jaws. These scans are useful in many different procedures especially for implant planning, managing impacted teeth and root canal treatments. Although the X-ray exposure with CBCT is greater than with the traditional dental X-rays, it is almost 10 times less than that incurred from a medical CT scan. Dental X-rays can be done as often as deemed necessary by your dentist. Measures that you can take to reduce radiation exposure includes wearing a thyroid collar and a lead apron. However, a single dental X-ray produces minimal radiation exposure equivalent to a day’s exposure to the sun’s radiation. Hence there is little need to worry. And with recent developments in digital dental radiography (RVG), the radiation exposure has further been reduced to almost 1/10th of that of a regular dental radiograph.
Dr Mahesh Lalwani, Dental Surgeon