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Radiology/Dental Panoramic X-Ray Dose



I just received a panoramic dental x-Ray. The technologist showed me the digital radiograph which has this at the bottom of the image:

"70kV 8mA 12s 59mGy*cm2"

Does this mean I received 59mGy during a dental x-Ray? That is an absolutely terrifying dose. Some 25 times that of a CT scan.

Am I misunderstanding something? Is that even possible during a dental X-Ray? The equipment looks modern.

Thanks for your help,


Hello, Jesse.

According to this calculator:

59mGy = .059mSv which is a much more realistic absorbed dose for dental x-rays, according to the chart on this page:

The units measuring radiation dose and exposure can be confusing. A measure of the energy deposited in a medium by ionizing radiation per unit mass is represented by the gray (Gy). The absorbed dose depends not only on the incident radiation but also on the absorbing material.

One sievert is the amount of radiation necessary to produce the same effect on living tissue as one gray of high-penetration x-rays. Quantities that are measured in sieverts are designed to represent the biological effects of ionizing radiation.

Hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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