Answer to Question #11520 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Equipment

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


What material is used to produce x rays in dental imaging equipment? Does the material have to be refreshed over time?


X rays are produced by the electromagnetic interaction of electrons and the tungsten target of the x-ray tube. This interaction does not deplete any of the material of the tungsten target. One might say that the electrons that interact with the target are depleted continuously while x rays are being produced since a continuous stream of electrons is required to produce a continuous stream of x rays.

The x rays produced in any x-ray equipment (dental, computed tomography, general radiography) are all produced in the same manner.

Joel Gray, PhD

Ask the Experts is posting answers using only SI (the International System of Units) in accordance with international practice. To convert these to traditional units we have prepared a conversion table. You can also view a diagram to help put the radiation information presented in this question and answer in perspective. Explanations of radiation terms can be found here.
Answer posted on 28 March 2016. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.