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Dental  x-ray is just one of the general dentistry procedures involved in dental safety. It includes getting the radiograph images of your mouth to know about your oral health and the teeth structure in detail. There is a mild ratio of radiation involved to get the printed image of your teeth and gums;however, there are no hazardous side effects involved with the dental x-ray procedure that may breach the health concerns;however, you may still avoid the least minor radiography during the pregnancy.

If you are still confused about the dental x-ray safety or do you have multiple questions in mind related to dental x-ray like how much is the dental x-ray secure? How often should you go for dental x-rays? Can you go for a dental x-ray while pregnant or how harmful is the dental x-ray during pregnancy? You must consult any general dentist to discuss the dental x-rays and other best hygiene routines for your oral health.

Let’s ask the dentists about the safety, procedure and the health concerns associated with the dental x-rays. Following are some of the FAQ’s related to dental x-rays like what is the process and what are the possible outcomes, the procedures and how often should we go with the dental x-rays and the what are the possible side effects of the dental x-rays.

How do Dental X-Rays Machines Work?

The dental x-ray machines work on the radiation principle. When a mildest electromagnetic radioactive ray is passed into the mouth, the teeth and the bones absorb the light more than the soft gums and surrounding tissues. As a result, we can see the teeth and bones as brighter spots and the infection or the canities as darker spots in a digital X-ray.

For the sake of dental X-ray safety and least radioactive exposure, the patient is covered with a lead vest before making him/her sit on a concerned chair under the dental x-ray setup.

Dental X-Ray Radiation Comparison Chart

Dentist and nurse are talking about dental X-Ray

The following is a comparison chart related to the dental x-ray radiation and the other daily routine processes that are linked with radiation. You can easily see the comparison chart and estimate that the amount of radiation during dental x-rays is minimal as compared to many other resources. Therefore, you must be relaxed about dental x-rays and you should not be much hesitant about them until unless you have a severe problem. The pregnant women and the young children should still avoid it.


Source Radiation Exposure
Dental X-Ray < 0.1mrem Per Bitewing
Transcontinental Flight 2-4 mrem
Natural Gas > 9 mrem Per Year
Radiation from Soil > 35 mrem Per Year
Smoking   1300 mrem Per Year

Is Dental X-Ray Safe During Pregnancy?

NO, the dental x-ray is not safe during pregnancy. Although there has been a massive development regarding dental X-ray safety and now it is made sure that the concerned person would face the least radiation exposure during dental x-ray procedure, plus there are some extra protective methods nowadays to avoid any extra exposure to the radioactive rays;however, it is still NOT safe for a pregnant woman and the foetus. A baby in progress can not bear the slightest radioactive exposure.

Does Dental X-Ray Cause Cancer?

Generally, dental x-rays DON’T cause cancer because there is a very mild radiation process involved in a general dental x-ray.

Many people may consider it as dangerous process due to radiation and the ionizing process but dental x-ray procedure involves less radiation than most of our daily routine activities like air flights, smoking and the cooking on natural gas;however, it depends on how often do you go for dental x-rays and how much is the dosage of radiation.

How often is Dental X-Ray Needed?

A dentist is pointing at a small X-Ray Image

It depends on your dental history, oral health and the complexity of the decay when it comes to knowing how often you need a dental x-ray. Usually it is just required in the beginning of a detailed oral examination and that’s it.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that if you have an optimal oral health, you just need to go for dental x-rays after two to three years in case of any complications;otherwise, if you are dealing with recurring decay or a complex regular dental routine, you may go with dental x-ray twice an year.

Can I Refuse Dental X-Rays?

Yes, you can always refuse the dental x-rays if you want to;however, the concerned dentist may or may not agree with you while dealing with complex dental situations. If you are having just a phobia about radiation, the dentist may guide you that the amount of radiation in latest dental x-ray procedures is minimal;plus, you cannot get the full treatment unless your dentist is fully aware of your current dental condition after checking the x-ray images.

Therefore, it is an advice that you should agree with the decision of your dentist to either go with the dental x-rays or not. If you have any severe health issues and concerns, you should tell it clearly to your dentist.


In a nutshell, the dental x-ray checkup is safe and an important part of detailed oral diagnosis. You should not avoid it unless you are facing severe health issues. The children are more vulnerable to radiation than adults;therefore, you must consult with professionals about how often they should go for dental x-rays before getting them into radioactive exposure. While the pregnant women must avoid the dental x-rays at any cost.

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