A common tools used by dentists is dental radiographs, or X-rays. This technology might seem dangerous for children because of exposure to radiation, but in fact it helps find problems that are much more dangerous if left untreated.
There’s no need to be nervous about young children, even infants, having an x-ray as a part of their regular exam, and to put your mind at ease here is more information about X-rays and how they help your pediatric dentist better help their patient.
X-ray film will mainly help dentists find cavities, but they are useful for planning orthodontic treatment, diagnosing any potential bone diseases, checking to make sure that erupting teeth are coming in properly, and evaluating any injuries sustained to the mouth.
The need for x-rays varies from child to child. They are not included in every visit to the dentist, but usually your dentist will recommend x-rays once a year. As a rule, either panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings should be done every three years, no matter what.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends thorough X-rays every six months for children that have already had a cavity or are at high risk for tooth decay.
Advances in X-ray technology and safety gear ensure that your child will be protected from harmful radiation. Equipment such as lead body aprons and shields filter out unnecessary X-rays and focus specifically on the mouth to ensure the perfect image the first time.
With so many advantages and no drawbacks to X-rays for your children’s teeth, radiographs could be important in catching a serious problem early. If you’re concerned that your child hasn’t had X-rays recently, discuss them with your dentist at your next visit.