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Did an unnecessary X-ray and now i am frightened a lot
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Did an unnecessary X-ray and now i am frightened a lot

Hey guys, my worry may sound stupid but i wanted some advice.
I recently turned 20 and i noticed that my "wisdom teeth" were growing. So I went to my dentist(he is one of the top 5 in my country) to discuss with him what to do about it(whether to let them grow or remove them). He told me we had to do a panoramic X-ray to see if they were growing straight or not. In his dental office he has a panoramic machine that he purchased in the last couple of years and he uses it for Panoramic X-rays(It's placed in the middle of his office and when in operation he just stands next to it not wearing any sort of protection. Does this mean the radiation is low?). I had an X-ray.Then 25 days later my parents told the dentist to make a copy of the panoramic image I had on a CD, in order to show the Panoramic X-ray to an oral surgeon to advice us about what to do with my wisdom teeth. When i went there he told me to make another X-ray in order to have a "contrast" of my teeth 25 days later. Foolishly and naively i accepted to have another Panoramic X-ray for my teeth( i think that he asked me to do another X-ray because he lost or didn't save the original image on his computer). So now that you read my worry, am i going crazy here to worry about it and am i exaggerating?? Are there any side effects??Please i want an answer cause am a person who is stressed all the time.
540545_tn?1377626518
Was the panoramic machine a digital x-ray or a traditional film x-ray?  I'm going to assume it was digital since he just recently installed it.  The older film x-rays tend to require more radiation than the newer digital x-ray systems.

I will have to look up the exact radiation dosage for the panoramic x-ray but I believe its equivalent to taking 4 of the smaller regular x-rays.  

A regular digital x-ray is equivalent to about 5-10 mins in the sunlight.  But let me double check that
3 Comments
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Thanks for your answer.
Yes the machine was digital since it is connected to a computer and the "picture" taken is not produced on a film.
So shall I not be afraid of something since the radiation is low??
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540545_tn?1377626518
I would say that we always try to reduce the amount of radiation we give to our patients but that when weighing the benefits versus the risks, usually x-rays help us to provide better treatment for our patients.  

Thanks to digital radiography, the amount of radiation is reduced greatly.  I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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