X-ray machine and too many x rays

Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
1
I just moved and have transferred to a new dentist. On my first visit they told me they would require x rays, fine. they started the X rays and after a few I asked, how many are you going to do? the technician said 18!! I was a little taken aback and thought, wow, that's seems like a lot of X rays. After she was finished with the 18 x-rays I started looking at the equipment. The x-rays were the modern, digital type that display on a monitor immediately upon taking them but, the actual machine that provides the beam of radiation looked a little dated. While the tech was out of the room, I glanced over at the machine and looked at the name plate: it said General Electric model 47-137200G2, and was dated 1978. I thought, 1978! that's 40 years old.

my mind started wandering and I couldn't get the thought out of my mind, 40 years, surely X-ray equipment has greatly improved in the last 40 years? Also, I'm thinking, the dose of radiation from that machine, vs what is produced in a more modern version, surely is has to be greater or more scattered or something. I don't know, maybe these older machines are updated or something to fall in line with current standards? Or, maybe the standards are the same?

Is this a cause for concern or is this very common and not an issue? I'm not one to get too overly concerned about this kind of stuff but, lets just say I'm no stranger to dental X-rays, I've had my share of cavities and other dental work over the years. I'm in my early 50's.

Thanks in advance for any input?
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
26
I test and validate dental X-Rays including OPG’s. Contrary to popular thinking dental X-Rays are incredibly safe, 4 dental X Rays is the equivalent to the radiation you receive after 2 hours of flying. A pilot, or flight crew who clock up 1,000 hours of flying time per year (a mere 20 hours a week) receives as much radiation as 2,000 dental X-Rays per year, or 5.5 x rays per day 365 days a year. Do you see many pilots with 6 toes or wearing lead aprons when flying ?

There is absolutely no epidemiological evidence the X-Rays are unsafe, zilch, zero, nada, none, nothing. Were it not for the the Linear No Threshold Hypothesis (LNT) all x-rays, whether dental, medical or surgical would be deemed incredibly safe. The only thing that deems X-Rays ‘unsafe’ is the LNT hypothesis, noting that a hypothesis is an idea which is suggested as a possible explanation for a particular situation or condition, but which has not yet been proved to be correct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_no-threshold_model

I have read the UN report on Chernobyl, only 40 people died as a direct result of radioactive exposure, almost all of them were the chopper crews who flew into radiation clouds dumping concrete on the sarcophagus. Everything else that happened at Chernobyl was a media frenzy and political scam. Never mind that the other 2 reactors that were only 100m from the exploded reactor, remained in service, fully staffed for 25 years after the event. Far more people died as a result of iodised salt poisoning.

In regards to an old X-Ray versus the newer digital X-Rays… The only thing that now makes X-Rays digital is the reading and processing of the X-Ray (once it has been taken). The technical aspects of the actual X-Ray generator (the piece they stick by your head) is as old as the hills, even new improved X-Ray heads are as much about marketing hype then actual performance.

We are required to validate X-rays and then apply a test label stating it complies, although rules vary from country to country. So if your X-ray has a valid test label then it should be fine, and even if it doesn’t, and even if it were giving 10 times the radiation dose, then unless the dentist wears 6 finger gloves, then personally I wouldn’t worry, you’ll get more radiation from 5 hours flying then from 18 X-Rays.
 

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Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
26
And to clarify… if you were to receive 2-10 times the required dose, then the X-Ray film (in your mouth) is also receiving 2-10 times the dose and it would be vastly over exposed and completely unreadable.

So any dental X-Ray film that is readable has by reverse logic simply received the require exposure dose, no more, no less.
 

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