Recent studies have showed that the amount of radiation from Dental X-rays are so low that the apron is really not necessary any more, unless the patient is pregnant. However, we don’t know how much radiation you receive on a regular basis. You may live in an area with higher background radiation, you may have had a full body CT scan last week, or you may be receiving radiation treatment for something else, and so limiting the amount of radiation is always the best practice. In most instances rather than explaining that there is not a need for the apron, or determining the level of need for protection it is less time consuming and just makes more sense to protect everyone. We leave the room because we are exposed many times a day, and lowering the level of radiation that you are exposed to is always the best practice, your dentist will only ask for x-rays if he feels it is necessary and the benefit outweighs any risk.