Health & Nutrition - - JUST LAUNCHED -

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

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