Dental x-rays or radiographs allow the dentist to identify potential problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye or by probing. These items include cysts, cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the position of teeth that have not yet fully erupted into the mouth.
Modern dental x-ray machines are very safe. We use only state-of-the-art, low radiation x-ray machines. To put things into perspective, the average person in Bozeman receives about 0.009 millisieverts (mSv) of cosmic background radiation per day, just from being alive. Four bite-wing dental x-rays produce 0.005 mSv, which is about half of the daily radiation exposure. This radiation dose is similar to a 1-2 hour airplane flight and is 1/20th the dose from a chest x-ray, which is a safe low radiation medical exam. One panorex x-ray image produces 0.01 mSv of radiation, which is barely over the average daily radiation exposure. You can see how low the radiation dose from dental x-rays really is. Contrast this minimal exposure with the risk of not finding an illness until it is too late and you can see why we prescribe regular diagnostic x‑rays.
Non-radiation cavity detection Aids
We offer DEXIS CariVu Transillumination and DIAGNOdent, which are high-tech ways to detect cavities without radiation exposure, as a complement to x-rays.