Dental X-rays Are Not as Harmful as You Think

Dental X-rays are images of your teeth that your dentist uses to know about the cause of infection or evaluate your oral health. It is a common diagnostic procedure that is considered safe and can help your dentist identify problems like – tooth decay, cavities, and infected teeth.

Most people think that dental X-rays are harmful due to radiation. What people do not know is that the amount of radiation they are exposed to is quite low. For instance, just being in the sun for long hours exposes you to higher radiation than this process would.

A] How Much Radiation is There in a Dental X-ray?

Every day we’re exposed to radiation from cell phones, aeroplanes, and sunrays. When you’re exposed to dental X-ray and get a set of bitewing X-ray (the images that are taken by your dentist to check for any new cavities) the total amount of radiation in this process is only 0.005 MSV which is less than the average dose of radiation in a day. Also, most digital X-rays nowadays require lesser radiation to capture a high-resolution image, so the whole procedure is safe.

B] Types of Dental X-rays

  1. Periapical X-ray

This is the most common type of dental X-ray. The dentist uses it to check the health of your tooth from the crown to the root anchored with the jawbone. It is especially used to check for abnormalities within your root structure and the surrounding bone region.

  1. Occlusal X-ray

This is used to keep a track of the development and placement of the entire arch of teeth on your lower & upper jaw. They include the baby teeth X-ray in this process, which is used to find infected teeth.

  1. Bitewing X-ray

It gives a detailed view of the lower and upper teeth in one region of your mouth. It covers the crown and supporting bone region. The X-ray checks for decay in between your tooth area and also checks for wear within the dental fillings.

  1. Panoramic X-ray

It helps to take a detailed image of your entire oral cavity. It helps to show the placement of impacted teeth and emerged teeth within the same image. It is also used to check the development of wisdom teeth in children and diagnose tumours.

Click here to know more about Dental X-ray services in Sunshine Coast.

C] How Many Dental X-rays Can You Have in a Year?

This depends on the dental issues. Dentists need to evaluate this based on the patient’s history. Some people with lots of dental problems or who are at a higher risk of cavities need frequent dental X-rays for examination.

  • Children who are not at the risk of getting cavities or who follow good oral hygiene should get the dental X-ray done every one or two years.
  • Teens that are not at high risk should get an X-ray done every two to three years.
  • The process is similar for adults; they should get it done every one or two years.

Read: Importance of Visiting The Dentist Every 6 Months

D] Dental X-ray Myths

  1. Dental X-rays can cause cancer

The risk of developing cancer from a single dental X-ray is almost negligible. The radiation of the X-ray is mild, so it won’t affect the mouth or surrounded areas. The risk of cancer is increased when there is prolonged exposure to radiation or X-ray.

When a patient visits a dentist for any issue related to a tooth, an X-ray would take a millisecond. No patient will be exposed to dental X-rays for hours. Besides, most dental clinics follow safety protocols and guidelines.

  1. Nursing mothers should not undergo dental X-rays

Most people believe that the radioactive particles from the radiation of the X-ray will linger in the body for a long time. And, the radiation will then be passed on from the mother to the child through breastfeeding.

But this not true, as the radiation will not linger in the body after getting an X-ray. The small dose of radiation that is received from the X-ray is insignificant enough to cause any harm to the nursing mother and child.

  1. Dental X-ray is harmful as it affects the brain

Most people believe that dental X-rays can cause harm to the brain. However, the X-rays are specifically targeted and focuses only on the area where the image is to be generated. The brain will not be exposed to any radiation.

Moreover, the risks of radiation do not depend on the specific areas of the body. They depend on the number of doses received over time i.e. how many X-rays you need to have and not the area.

  1. Dental X-ray is needed on every visit

The frequency with which you may need a dental X-ray depends on your oral health or infection. If your oral health is good and you have no cavities or other dental issues, then you don’t need to get X-rays. Dental X-rays are mostly needed if there is an unstable dental situation which your dentist needs to monitor closely.

#Are There Alternatives to Dental X-rays?

There are a few options available if you don’t want to go with the dental X-rays. Understanding the importance of visualization, holistic dentists have found alternatives to provide quality imaging without radiation. Some popular alternatives are:

  1. Thermal Imaging

The thermal imaging process uses a heat map to identify potential problems. There are two types – cold area and hot area.

  • A cold area means that there is a lack of blood flow.
  • A hot area indicates that there is an infection in the area.

The thermal imaging process allows the dentists to target areas of impaction, root concern, or infection without radiation. The thermal image process simply converts the infrared radiation to visible images that depict the normal distribution of temperature.

It is an effective and radiation-free way to detect oral infections. On a thermal image, the infection may appear in a higher pattern.

  • Near-infrared Imaging

Near-infrared imaging, also known as NIR is still new to the dental industry. The infrared light makes the tooth enamel appear to be transparent while the cavities trap the light making them more visible.

The dentist can see through the image and then visualize its structure. The system allows dentists for higher resolution imaging to conventional dental X-rays. It helps to display the sub-surface cavities that are around the fillings making them more visible.

The imaging also displays tooth deformities such as dissolving surface enamels and fractures. It can be an important diagnostic tool for dentists.

  • Cone-beam Computed Tomography

Cone-beam computed tomography is one holistic method that has been used for over a decade. The technology is well capable of providing a clear 3D image of teeth, nerve pathways, soft tissues, and bone all in a single shot.

Though it is effective, it has created controversy in the dental industry for its use as it is not radiation-free. But, if you compare it with traditional radiographs, then this is in a more targeted form.

#Prepping for Dental X-rays,

Dental X-rays require no special preparation; you just need to brush your teeth before you visit your dentist for an X-ray. It creates a more hygienic environment for both you and your dentist.

The X-ray machine is always positioned alongside your head to record the image of your mouth so you must sit comfortably without moving.

Dental X-rays are not harmful, as the radiation is negligible. So, don’t get scared the next time you may require one, talk to your dentist about it.

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10/7 Nicklin Way

Minyama QLD 4575, Australia

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Book Appointment

(07) 5444 4308 & 1300 70 60 90

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Adarsh (Principal Dentist)


Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)


Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)


Davina is the latest addition to the Oris dental family. After completing her bachelor’s degree form the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year. Davina is very highly recommended by her previous employers. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. We are happy to have Davina as a part of our practice and hope her friendly personality will shine through to all our patients.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!

Debra (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Debra is the pleasant voice that greets you when you phone the practice. Debra has over 30 years of experience in the dental field and it wont take you long to realize that she absolutely enjoys what she does. Debra is primarily involved in reception duties but is also a certified dental assistant and can seamlessly switch roles when needed. Debra ensures that the workflow of the practice is maintained and ensure that high practice standards our maintained. Debra is playing an active role in us achieving practice accreditation.

Tayla (Dental Assistant)

tayla (Dental Assistant)

Tayla is the latest addition to our practice but comes with a load of experience. Tayla has an endearing personality and absolutely loves talking with patients and meeting new people. Tayla is highly qualified and has a Cert 3 and Cert 4 in Dental assisting in Dental Radiology and is looking forward to welcoming you to our practice.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden is a new addition to the Oris Team. He hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.