What You Need to Know About X-Rays
X-rays are common as they can be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of health complications. For example, many providers such as James E Butler, DMD, a Hilliard X-rays specialist, use the technology to diagnose and treat dental complications. But X-rays can also be used when managing musculoskeletal complications, cardiovascular issues, and women’s health issues, to mention a few. So, what is this technology that seems to be so critical in almost every medical field? Herein is information about X-rays to elaborate on what it entails.
What They Are
Generally, X-rays are electromagnetic radiations penetrable through the human body to produce shadow-like images of the body organs such as the bones, heart, and lungs. When evaluated by a medical expert, the images can reveal signs of complications to the targeted organs. In medicine, X-rays are used in:
- Computed tomography to produce detailed images on a monitor
- Fluoroscopy to enable the observation of motion within the body
- Radiography to yield a still ray image
During the X-ray procedure, your body can absorb some of the energy, which may not produce adverse effects in low doses. That is why it is recommended to reduce the amounts as much as possible.
Now that you may have noted that your body can absorb some energy and have some side effects, you might be wondering how safe the X-rays are. Well, understand that adverse effects are rare. This means that if you are getting a simple X-ray from the skull, chest, abdomen, or any other part, the radiation dose absorbed is minimal compared to what your body absorbs annually from natural sources. That means you are safe. However, even the low levels of radiation cannot be assumed to be 100% safe. They can also have a cancerous or a genetic effect, although there is no practical evidence yet, only that it is theoretically possible and hence cannot be ruled out.
Possible Effects of X-rays
It has been mentioned earlier that the radiation energy observed by the body may not have adverse effects on your health. However, when you are exposed to higher doses or have multiple procedures, you might experience some biological effects. Adverse effects you can experience include hair loss, cataracts, infertility, and skin redness. Besides, your cancer risks can be increased.
What Radiation Amount is Safe?
Note that there are no particular radiation dose limits in place for every patient. This means that your provider will justify the amount of radiation suitable for you. However, experts recommend every effort to minimize the patient’s exposure as much as possible. Many practices are guided by a principle known as ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable). Besides, an X-ray should not be carried out if it does not serve a medical purpose, no matter how low the dose is.
You Can Avoid Unnecessary Repeat Examination
Knowing that the less exposure you get to the radiation, the safer you are, would help avoid unnecessary investigations. This means that if you have results from a recent X-ray, let your provider access them. They can provide adequate information to your provider and eliminate the need for another X-ray. Therefore, it is critical to inform your provider when your last examination took place as they can make more informed decisions.
Learn more about X-rays by reaching out to Innovative Dental Ideas today. Dr. Butler will help you understand when it is necessary to undergo an X-ray, particularly in diagnosing and treating dental complications.