At East Coast Endodontics, we understand that some kinds of dental treatment can cause anxiety and concern among our patients. Therefore, we consider it a top priority to clearly explain the technology we use and the procedures we recommend.

Dental scans are a common requirement for dental treatment yet some patients understandably have questions about the purpose of these scans and the safety of the radiation used. Some of the most common questions are answered below. If you have others, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Is Radiation Harmful?
In high enough doses, radiation may contribute to the development of cancer. However, the doses considered safe by experts in the field and the US government are considerably higher than any dental scan.

The truth is that radiation is part of our daily lives. We are constantly exposed to very low levels of radiation with no ill effects. Many dental scans use levels of radiation at or only slightly higher than the amount of radiation we are exposed to each day, whereas the safe limit is thousands of times higher.

Radiation-Dose-Levels-In-Milisieverts-mSv-IAEA-chart

What is a CBCT scan?
A CBCT scan is an oral x-ray that produces a 3-dimensional view of a patient’s jaw and mouth. Besides presenting the endodontist with images in 3 dimensions, CBCT scans also provide images at a higher resolution than medical CTs. This allows dental specialists to see a clearer picture from all the angles necessary to understand the tooth or teeth in question and to determine the best way to approach the problem.

Though a CBCT scan may expose the patient to a slightly higher level of radiation than other conventional oral scans, the amount of radiation the patient receives is still considerably less than other common radiography procedures such as a mammogram or Cat scan. You can trust that Dr. Harris will always use the safest x-ray option for your situation and will always keep you informed regarding his choices.