At PDM Family Dental, we typically take X-rays once a year. X-rays are a vital part of any exam, maybe it be a new patient exam, a recall or an emergency visit. Consider the case of the Titanic, you don’t know what lies beneath. An X-rays will give us an accurate picture. It shows us any abscesses, infections, bone loss, decay, supernumerary (extra) teeth, cysts, recurrent decay to name a few. This information is vital in helping us diagnose and treatment plan your individual needs.  

There are 2 types of X-rays. One is the system used in the past that took time to develop in a dark room. Just like our old film cameras. And the Digital X-rays, ones that are taken and are viewed immediately on the computer. We at PDM Family Dental take the digital X-rays. So, if you ask, how much radiation am I getting? Below is a table showing the different dosages as per the American Dental Association’s website. 


Effective Dose Exposures from Medical Examinations and Procedures5, 6

Type  Average Effective Dose (Adults) in Millisieverts (mSv)  Equivalent Effective Dose (Adults) in Microsieverts (µSv) 
 Intraoral X-Ray 0.005 mSv 5.0 µSv
Dental panoramic radiography 0.01 mSv 10 µSv
Chest radiography 0.1 mSv 100 µSv
Dental computed tomography 0.2 mSv 200 µSv
Mammography 0.4 mSv 400 µSv
Upper G.I. tract radiography (including fluoroscopy) 6.0 mSv 6,000 µSv
Coronary computed tomography angiography 12 mSv 12,000 µSv


The above graph shows how safe Dental X-rays really are and how less of a radiation one is exposed to. The chart below, also found on the American Dental Association website shows the amount you get from the different types of X-rays be it a single film, a full mouth series or a Panoramic. 

Type of Exposure
Effective Dose (Adults) in Millisieverts (mSv)  Effective Dose (Adults) in Microsieverts (µSv)
With PSP storage or F-speed film and rectangular collimation  0.035 mSv  34.9 µSv
With PSP storage or F-speed film and round collimation  0.171 mSv  170.7 µSv
 Bite wing (4 images) with PSP storage or F-speed film and rectangular collimation
 0.005 mSv  5.0 µSv

So be assured, the radiation you are exposed to is not as significant and it is vital for your treatment planning. We are here to help provide you with the best care, and we can do that using all the tools disposable to us. We are always here to help answer any of your concerns or questions at 516 388 5002/ [email protected]