The amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is low, compared to the amount of radiation exposure the average person in the US receives from natural sources such as the sun and soil. If you have 1 bite wing X-ray taken at your dentist office with a digital X-ray machine, which shows 4 – 6 teeth in the image, the radiation exposure will be approximately less than one third of 1 percent of your annual radiation exposure from the sun and soil.
Although there are relatively low levels of radiation exposure from dental X-ray exams, you want to minimize the overall radiation exposure as much as possible as there is always a slight risk of damage to your cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation.
The American Dental Association suggests that an adult with good oral health and low risk of dental problems should have x-rays taken at intervals of every 12 to 36 months. Your dentist may suggest more frequent X-ray exams if you have a history of dental cavities and gum disease.
If you’re pregnant, you should inform your dentist before having your X-rays taken.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist before any X-rays are taken.