Parents Magazine included a short blurb about dental X-rays in the November 2009 issue. And since many of our readers have kids, we think this information is worth passing along -- Consider the findings before your or your child's next appointment.
Citing a study by The Journal of the American Dental Association (2008), the cancer risk posed by X-ray machines is higher than previously estimated. "Some" machines, the article states, emit FOUR times more radiation than earlier estimates! YUCK!
Luckily, there are options. Digital technology and F-speed film (NOT D speed) along with "rectangular collimation instead of round" will reduce radiation exposure.
For those curious readers, collimation is defined as: A method for minimizing a patient's exposure to unnecessary radiation during treatment by using a rectangular position-indicating device (PID) to reduce the size of the radiation beam.
In plain English -- it's the attachment piece that beams the X-ray into your mouth. Here's a picture from Margraf Dental Mfg.