X-rays are forms of radiant energy, like light or radio waves. Unlike light, x-rays can penetrate the body, which produces images of internal structures.
Laser + Holistic Dental offers our patients in house x-ray and CBCT scanning. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is a superior imaging technology compared to the traditional x-ray providing much greater levels of detail to produce 3D images of your teeth. soft tissues, nerve pathways and bones. CBCT also offers the additional advantage of lower radiation exposures relative to normal CT scans.
We use X-rays and CBCT scans for diagnosis of many problems and often to assess your needs for oral surgery and any pre-existing conditions. While it is important to have up to date dental imaging, at we are also mindful of managing your radiation exposure. Since the discovery of X-rays and their utilization in diagnostic medicine, there has always been concern about the cellular damage the radiation can cause both for the patient and subsequent damage to the reproductive organs. Laser + Holistic Dental follows the ALARA princple or As Low As Reasonably Achievable, when assessing your radiography needs.
We are exposed to radiation from natural sources all the time. Average Australians are exposed to 1.5 mSv each year from natural sources, which is half the amount of dosage received in U.S. This is about the same amount of radiation received from 75 chest X-rays.1
In high doses radiation can have harmful health effects, and although dental radiology is relatively low dose – it is important to inform us if you are currently pregnant or trying for a baby.
For pregnant women the most significant risk is during organogenesis (3 to 8 weeks in utero) where radiation exposure may increase the risks of childhood cancer and leukaemia.2 As a precaution for all patients, irrespective of gender or age, Laser + Holistic Dental provides a protective drape with a thyroid collar to cover the lower abdomen and also minimises abdominal exposure by collimating the x-ray equipment. We recommend that before having any x-rays or scans you discuss any family planning with our dentists so we can advise you on the best strategy for your needs.
Laser + Holistic Dental chose to invest in the digital delivery of radiological imaging for over a decade for both benefits to the patients and environmental concerns. Digital imaging is a dry system; no liquid chemicals are used in taking and developing the image. Because digital imaging uses a laser and computer system, no waste is produced from the imaging process. Digital radiology is a occupationally safer, cleaner and greener option as it does not generate any toxic waste compared with traditional developing system that create exposure to high levels of silver, lead, hydroquinone, glutaldehyde.3
Repeated exposure to medical and dental radiological images can generate clastiogenic factors that can detected in the blood. Clastoigenic factors (CF), also called chromosome breakage factors, were first described by radiobiologists in 1968. It was noted that not only do therapeutically or accidentally irradiated persons show an increased frequency of chromosome breaks and rearrangements in their own cells, but the plasma of these persons contains chromosome damaging material able to induce chromosome damage after transfer into cell cultures. These CF were circulating in the blood stream of the irradiated persons even years after the irradiation event and have a role in chronic inflammatory conditions such as Crohns disease, Lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Progressive systemic sclerosis, collagen, gastrointestinal and nervous system related disease and cancers.4 Encouragingly, these clastiogenic factors have showed regression or complete disappearance of CFs in the plasma after 2 months of treatment with gingko biloba extract.5
Laser + Holistic Dental does not endorse the position of “frequent regular ” dental xrays as recent studies support that this practice can increase your risk of developing brain cancers.6 Exposure to ionizing radiation – the kind found in X-rays – is the biggest known environmental risk factor for largely non-malignant meningioma brain tumours. Routine dental X-rays are among the most common sources of radiation for most healthy people. While the vast majority of meningiomas are non-malignant, they often grow to be very large and can cause a wide range of potentially serious symptoms, including vision and hearing loss, frequent headaches, memory loss, and even seizures. They are the most frequently diagnosed brain tumors among adults accounting for about a third of all primary brain and central nervous system tumors. People who reported having “bitewing” X-rays at least yearly were found to have 40%-90% greater risk of meningioma.6
The thyroid gland is also highly susceptible to radiation carcinogenesis. Dental radiography is often overlooked as a radiation hazard to the gland and may be associated with the risk of thyroid cancer. An increased risk of thyroid cancer has been reported in dentists, dental assistants, and radiographers.7 For your added protection, should dental X-rays be recommended in the course of treatment, Laser + Holistic Dental provides a protective shielding thyroid collar when dental X-rays are taken.
1. Ionising Radiation and Health
2. Radiation and Pregnancy
3. Dental Wastes
4. Clastogenic Factors, A Link Between Chronic Inflammation and Carcinogenesis
5. Radiation-induced clastogenic factors: anticlastogenic effect of Ginkgo biloba extract.
6. Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma
7. Dental x-rays and the risk of thyroid cancer: a case-control study