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It’s natural for patients and parents to be concerned and ask, ‘Are dental x-rays safe?’. 

Patients and parents may wonder if taking x-rays is even necessary as they do not feel any pain or discomfort.


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X-rays serve a diagnostic purpose: We cannot treat what we cannot see. 

Often dental decay and gum disease spread silently until the disease comes close to dental nerves causing pain or teeth start getting visibly shaky. By this time, it may be too late to save the affected teeth or may require complicated, expensive treatment to treat. 

Therefore, using pain as an indicator for dental x-rays is not recommended. 

It’s like waiting for a heart attack first before taking blood pressure readings!

For safe and effective orthodontic treatment planning, our Drs need to know the level of your bone, the shape and size of your tooth roots, the direction and inclination of adult teeth, and whether there is any obstruction to tooth movement in the bone, etc. These important points can only be assessed with dental x-rays. 

Check out these 3 case studies:


A very valid concern by patients and parents. After conducting research over many years, these are the statements from the American Association of Dentists regarding the safety of dental x-rays: 

  1. There are some dental diseases and conditions, eg: impacted teeth, which cannot be detected without the help of x-rays.
  2. Dental Xray radiation represents a minor contribution to the total exposure from all sources, including natural and man-made.
  3. Dental X-rays account for ~2.5% of radiation compared to medical X-ray radiation. Example: it takes 20 dental x-rays to be equivalent to 1 chest xray.


(Source: American Dental Association)

The Image Gently Alliance provides information that highlights that there is no conclusive evidence that radiation from dental X-rays directly causes cancer. The Dana-Faber Cancer Institute also concurs that dental radiation levels are too low to affect cancer risk. The institute further explains the ‘recall bias’ of studies to debunk dental x-rays and cancer myths.   

Taking dental x-rays is almost as easy as taking a selfie (it just takes a few seconds longer).

Patients are draped with a protective lead apron and thyroid shield before taking x-rays and it feels like wearing a heavy winter coat.

Patients may be asked to bite on a painless positioning stick, like biting an ice-cream stick. During the xray taking, there is no pain and the process takes 5 seconds to just over a minute.

  1. MyBracesClinic embraces digital dentistry, including dental x-rays. Digital x-rays use much less exposure than traditional analog x-rays.
  2. We always screen ladies for potential pregnancies and do not recommend x-rays for ladies in their first trimester of pregnancy, unless necessary.
  3. Patients are draped with lead aprons and thyroid shields before x-rays.
  4. Our clinicians do not indicate dental x-rays without a real diagnostic indication.
  5. X-rays are taken on ‘Children Settings’ to ensure kid-sized radiation dose.
  6. X-rays are taken on the fastest possible exposure settings to minimize the time taken to take x-rays.

Do ask us questions regarding your concerns. We are here to clarify any doubts and assist you in choosing the treatment option that best suits your needs.

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