The New York Times published an article on the front page today, reviewing the safety of dental x-rays. The primary concern for the author was the potential for excessive use of a new 3D technology called Cone Beam CT. This technology allows your dentist, oral surgeon, orthodontist or other dental specialist to see accurate three-dimensional anatomy for detailed surgical planning or diagnosis of disease.
The potential downside with any new technology is overuse. Many offices, like ours, have Radiation Safety and Protection Policies in place in order to prevent the indiscriminate ordering of x-rays and effectively minimizing the exposure to our patients and co-workers. If you need a Cone Beam CT scan, be sure to ask your doctor about the procedure. Keep in mind, as the NY Times article fails to emphasize, the CT scan you get in your dentist’s office requires nearly 30 times less radiation than the conventional CT scan you would receive in a hospital.