The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is much less than the exposure you would get from the X-rays taken by your physician. In fact, you will absorb more radiation by spending a day out in the summer sun. Dental radiographs or X-rays expose the patient to very small amounts of radiation. New digital X-rays can cut that amount down by close to 90% over traditional film X-rays. Your doctor uses these images to detect pathology such as decay, tumors, cysts or other abnormalities not evident to the naked eye. They are an integral part of a complete dental examination.