Xrays and Radiation

Dr. Alex Krempa, Mobile, Alabama dentist says,"X-rays are a wonderful diagnostic tool."  Without high quality x rays, many diseases would not be treated until end stage. The images produced during an xray allow the doctor to diagnose both early and late stages of disease. Beneficially, x-rays allow treatment during early stages. This treatment afforded by x-rays is often easier, faster, better, and cheaper-a perfect combination.

X-rays, also known as radiographs, are used in multiple applications. In dentistry, this radiation energy is passed from a tube through the object of interest(your teeth) and absorbed by a sensor. While some of this energy is scattered and absorbed by objects that the x-ray was not intended for, the majority of the energy is absorbed by the object of interest. The levels of x-ray radiation are much less than found in other medical applications. Additionally, routine sun exposure accounts for much higher doses than administered in health care settings.

X-rays have received bad press, however, every time an x-ray is prescribed by a licensed doctor, the risk of adverse effects of having an x-ray are weighed against the risk of not taking an x-ray. The decision goes like this: the chance of having disease(like a dental cavity) that an x-ray could identify is approximately 50%. However, the risk of the x-ray causing a disease is considered much less than 1%. The two main fears of x-ray use are radiation sickness and mutations(cancer). During appropriate use of x-rays, the chance of having either of these issues is extremely rare. When a doctor believes the benefit of a radiograph is greater than the benefit of not taking a radiograph, an x-ray is prescribed. Thus, the benefit of taking an x-ray is typically great, while the risk of taking a x-ray is low. Thus, when prescribed properly, x-rays benefit your health when they identify disease that can be treated.

While it is clear that x-rays are needed to provide great health care, reducing exposure and the effects of x-rays are important to dentists and patients. Recently, many x-rays have become digital. Through advances in technology, the amount of radiation used is dramatically reduced. Furthermore, x-rays have become more focused as a result of a technique called collimation. This limits the radiation dose a patient receives. With proper care the use of x-rays for most people is beneficial and safe.

For more information, please check out the ADA’s website:

Alex Krempa, D.M.D.

6350 Airport Blvd.
Mobile, Alabama 36608
(251) 344-0230



I had a broken tooth and needed emergency care. I was able to get in almost immediately. Dr. Krempa gave me more than one option as to the care and length of time it would take for each of the options provided. My tooth was fixed and I was on my way in a short amount of time. I have always had fears and pain with dental work from other dentists. This was the best experience I have had. I have found my new dental provider. From the time I walked in and was greeted with smiles, to the time I left, it was a great experience with everyone there.--Suzanne B.

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