Dental X-rays: Get the Real Picture!


Critical for Diagnosis & Treatment Planning

X-rays help pinpoint problems and avoid further complications.

People are often concerned that they’re receiving too much radiation from X-rays, so it’s important to understand why the benefits of X-rays (taken at reasonable intervals) far outweigh the concerns!

The purpose of X-rays is to pinpoint problems and avoid further complications. Without them, we couldn’t find decay under fillings or between teeth, we couldn’t find abscesses or tumors in gums and bone, and we couldn’t detect faulty development of adult or wisdom teeth. We also wouldn’t be able to see the formation of pockets around teeth or the loss of bone caused by gum disease.

Furthermore, the risks are widely misunderstood, and dental X-rays, in particular, use less radiation than just about any other variety. During a checkup that includes either 4 bitewing or 1 panoramic X-ray, patients receive a dose of .005 or .01 millisieverts (mSv) respectively. That’s the equivalent of about 1 or 2 days of natural background radiation. Compare that with full-chest X-rays that result in 10 to 20 times as much exposure (0.1 mSv), or pelvic X-rays that require 60 to 120 times as much (0.6 mSv).

So why do dental X-rays use such little radiation? Since teeth are close to the surface of the skin and grouped in a relatively small area, dentists can achieve the same high-quality images with a narrower beam and much lower intensity.

We’ve taken other steps to reduce the risks!

  • Modern X-ray equipment has reduced the size of the X-ray beam
  • Digital imaging requires less radiation than traditional X-ray film
  • Lead aprons provide further protection from unnecessary exposure
  • All team members operating dental radiographic equipment have been trained and certified in accordance with state law

Without X-rays, we can only make educated guesses. Wouldn’t you rather have us see “the real picture?”

About Dr. Jayson A. Chalmers

Jayson Chalmers was raised in Placerville, CA and graduated from El Dorado High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley. He went on to receive his dental degree from the University of California, San Francisco. After practicing as an associate dentist in Napa, CA, Dr. Chalmers returned to Sacramento to be closer to friends and family. He began practicing in his current location in January 2005.   Knowing that patients want to have the best options and treatment available to them, Dr. Chalmers has completed many hours of advanced educational training in general, implant, orthodontic, and cosmetic dentistry. He continues to learn and incorporate many of the latest dental technologies in his practice. Through the use of intraoral cameras, digital x-rays and computer imaging he can immediately show and explain all treatment options to the patient.   Dr. Chalmers is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Sacramento District Dental Society, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and is involved in local dental study groups. Dr. Chalmers also is an active participant in Smiles for Kids, where free dental services are provided to local children in need.   Dr. Chalmers and his wife, Desirae, are the parents of Ella and Ava. They are an outgoing family and are very involved in the Arden-Arcade community. As a family, they enjoy tending to their chickens and organic garden, splashing around in the pool and traveling to beachside locations. Dr. Chalmers personal interests include camping and fishing and watching and playing most sports.

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