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Dental X-ray Machines and Radiation Dose: The Real Story

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Although some patients may have concerns about radiation exposure during a dental appointment, the amount of radiation dentists use is so insignificant that many patients consider it an afterthought. When explaining dental X-ray machine radiation to patients, dental practitioners sometimes compare dental radiation dose to the amount of natural radiation a patient may receive from a few minutes lounging at the beach or traveling on an airplane. This helps patients better understand the risks of dental imaging vs. the rewards of maintaining proper dental health.

Advancements in Radiation Technology

Advancements in radiation technology have helped make dental X-ray machines much safer for patients and dental staff alike. For decades, dentists captured X-rays using traditional dental X-ray machines and film, then waited to develop the films before the images were available for diagnosis and treatment planning. Today, digital imaging technology has minimized the higher radiation doses often required with their film counterparts, as well as virtually eliminated the risk of retakes due to patient movement, poor quality results, or unwanted image artifacts.

Radiation Exposure in Dental vs. Medical Procedures

When compared to medical imaging, dental X-ray machines produce very little radiation, primarily because much more radiation is required to penetrate large areas of bone and tissue than is needed to penetrate dental anatomy. Additionally, the bones and skin of the mouth have low radio-sensitivity compared to larger parts of the body.For example, a 2D chest X-ray requires 50 μSv (micro Sieverts) of radiation, while a dental 2D panoramic X-ray requires only 10 μSv (micro Sieverts). Likewise, a medical CT scan of the maxilla and mandible can require up to 2,000 μSv (micro Sieverts) of radiation, as compared to only 36 μSv (micro Sieverts) for a similarly sized dental cone beam scan.

Three-Dimensional Scans in Dentistry

Thanks to the introduction of the cone beam dental X-ray machine, dentists only need very low doses of radiation to produce high-quality dental 3D images. Most modern dental cone beam systems can be collimated to capture only the region of interest, further reducing radiation dose.

Dental 3D scanners use cone beam technology and flat panel detectors, known as sensors, which are different than the higher-radiation based technology used in medical CT devices. Cone beam sensor technology has improved significantly over the years, requiring even less radiation to reconstruct dental cone beam images than the first generation models.

Dental Radiation and Cancer Risk

Radiation is often associated with cancer risk. If a patient is concerned about a 2D or 3D dental X-ray exam, they are likely worried about the risk of cancer. There is no scientific evidence that dental radiography has been shown to cause cancer. The fact that routine dental X-ray exams emit significantly lower radiation than even natural background exposures further supports that there is little to no risk associated with exposure from these types of exams.

Need additional tips for discussing dental X-ray machine radiation exposure with your patients? Renew Digital is happy to offer assistance at any time.

Why Used Dental Equipment is a Good Choice for New and Established Practices

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You need state-of-the art equipment to remain competitive in today’s dental market. If investing in updated dental imaging technology isn’t currently part of your budget, using one of the three creative purchasing techniques below can help you obtain the equipment sooner than you would have otherwise.IRS Section 179 DeductionWhen you claim this deduction, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to [...]

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Why Renew Digital?

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At Renew Digital, we understand you have a choice when it comes to where to purchase dental equipment for sale. Our company, founded by friends and business partners Bryan Delano and Lyle Miller nearly a decade ago, operates on the principle of helping dentists realize their return on investment (ROI) as quickly as possible. Below are several reasons to consider [...]

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Finding the Carestream Kodak X-Ray That's Best for Your Practice

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Carestream Kodak dental X-ray machines have a reputation as some of the most affordable in the dental industry while still offering high image quality. The advanced imaging capability and simple, intuitive software make a great combination when it comes to obtaining clear and consistent extraoral imaging.As an authorized reseller of refurbished dental X-ray equipment, Renew Digital offers several Carestream Kodak options [...]

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Which Sirona CBCT Option is Right for You?

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You already know that certified pre-owned Sirona CBCT equipment would be an excellent addition to your dental practice. The only problem is that you may not know which of the two main pre-owned models offered by Renew Digital to choose. Below we explore some of the most important features of the Sirona Galileos Comfort Plus and the Sirona [...]

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Our 4-Step Guide to Taking Perfect Planmeca ProMax 3D Images

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At Renew Digital, we understand that purchasing a certified pre-owned Planmeca ProMax 3D machine is a significant investment for your dental practice. However, it’s one you willingly undertook to receive sharp, clear, three-dimensional images to help you make the best possible treatment decisions for your patients. Below, find 4 tips on how to obtain the most accurate images using the Planmeca [...]

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Discussing CBCT with Your Patients

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When patients become accustomed to one technology, it can be challenging for them to accept something new. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that your patients may have about CBCT when you upgrade to 3D imaging from 2D imaging.What is CBCT?CBCT is the abbreviation for cone beam computed tomography, also known as cone beam. CBCT provides your dentist with clear [...]

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Which Planmeca ProMax X-Ray is Best for Your Practice?

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Planmeca ProMax is a brand long associated with premium quality dental imaging. If you are considering adding a certified pre-owned Planmeca ProMax S3 X-ray or cone beam to your dental or dental specialty practice, you can’t go wrong. But, with all of the options out there, it may be difficult to decide on the unit that’s right for you.Common Features of [...]

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Using 3D Cone Beam in Dental Implantology

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Since its recommendation by the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Academy in 2012, 3D cone beam technology has become the standard of care for most dental professionals to obtain a complete picture when planning and placing dental implants. Cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT, provides you with a precise, relational view of the patient’s [...]

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Carestream Dental X-Ray Equipment is the Perfect Solution to Your Practice

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Carestream Dental is known the world over for its high-quality, easy to use, reliable and affordable dental X-ray machines. No matter which Carestream Dental panoramic or cone beam equipmentyou choose, it will be sure to help to improve patient care, enhance practice safety, and increase workflow efficiency. Now, certified pre-owned dental X-ray machines from Renew [...]

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Dr. Jane Smith

Miami, FL

"Purchasing an i-CAT from Renew Digital was the best decision that I could have made for my practice."
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Red Lion, PA

"I can all but guarantee you will be satisfied with Renew Digital's service and your experience."
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Larkspur, CA

"Renew Digital provided me with an amazing product, installed in a timely and professional manner."

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  • Norcross, GA 30092
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