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Is OPG photography dangerous?

By using X-ray images, dentists benefit from these images to check and evaluate oral and dental health. One of the most used images of this type is the panoramic image view, which is also called the OPG view.

OPG photos can help the dentist to make a general assessment of the health of the bones of both jaws and to some extent the teeth.

Considering that x-rays are used for this imaging and x-rays are one of the most energetic and dangerous rays, can we say that opg imaging is not safe? We will examine this issue further.

How safe is opg imaging?

According to research conducted by scientists, OPG imaging is a relatively safe method. Due to the emergence of new technologies and the progress of science, new devices have been made to perform OPG imaging that emit very light levels of radiation. As a result, the safety level of this method has been significantly improved.

Therefore, you should not worry about X-ray radiation and its side effects during OPG photography, because the amount of X-rays used in this photography has been significantly reduced and the amount of risks threatening the health of the body has been greatly reduced.

Why is opg imaging done?

Usually, dentists ask their patients to take a new opg photo every year to check the condition of their teeth.

Factors that affect the frequency of OPG scans may include:

If you’ve recently changed dentists, the new dentist will likely ask you to have an opg scan so they can get a clear picture of your dental health.

Children may need more opg scans than adults because their dentists need to monitor the growth and condition of their teeth.

For example, OPG photos help these dentists to make a decision to preserve milk teeth and in some cases to remove them based on orthodontic considerations.

What is the amount of x-ray radiation in opg imaging?

When X-rays were first introduced, dentists and other professionals did not fully understand the dangers of repeated X-ray exposure. Also, early photography devices were not safe.

However, with the advancement of knowledge and technology, the amount of radiation used in opg imaging devices and the possible exposure of patients to it has been reduced dramatically.

To get a better understanding of the x-ray exposure in opg imaging, let’s compare the x-ray exposure in opg imaging to other environmental sources.

For example, one opg photo has 0.1mrem radiation and 4 bitewing photos have 0.4mrem radiation.

Compare this value with the following:

  • Natural radiation from soil: 35mrem per year
  • Smoking: 1300 mm per year
  • Intercontinental flight: 2-4 mrem
  • Drinking water: 5 mrem per year
  • Use of natural gas for heating and cooking: 9 mrem per year

It is very clear how low the radiation level is in a dental x-ray.

It is true that having an opg scan exposes you to some x-rays, but the benefits of doing it outweigh the risks. Many dental problems are invisible to the naked eye, and X-rays allow your dentist to detect a wide range of problems in the enamel, gums, and roots of teeth.

What are the risks of opg imaging?

Although opg imaging does introduce radiation into the body, the levels are low enough to be considered safe for children and adults.

Of course, this is not true for pregnant women and they are an exception to this rule. Therefore, women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant should avoid all types of X-rays. Tell your dentist if you think you are pregnant, as radiation is not safe for a developing fetus.

A radiologist will guide you through each step of the opg imaging process. The radiologist may leave the room for a short time while the images are taken. You will be asked to hold still while taking pictures.

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