Are Dental X-Rays Necessary and Safe for Kids?
This is a question our pediatric dentists often get asked at the Kids Dentistry Center, and while there are legitimate concerns about children being exposed to too many x-rays this is certainly is not the case with dental x-rays. We use digital dental x-rays that are extremely safe and we take all necessary precautions to protect your child while they have their x-ray. Digital dental x-rays typically emit less radiation than your child will be exposed to on a cross-country flight.
Dental X-Rays Are a Diagnostic Tool
We will only take dental x-rays when absolutely necessary and they are an extremely useful diagnostic tool. It would be far more risky for your child not to receive ongoing preventative dental care and to not have regular dental x-rays to check for signs of diseases and to see that everything is developing normally. Regular digital dental x-rays are a vital part of dental treatment. Dr. Marina Krepkh or your child’s pediatric dentist will recommend dental x-rays in a variety of different situations.
Most Common Reasons for Using Dental X-Rays
- Diagnosing infection or disease, as some areas in the mouth are hidden from view, for example in the roots of the teeth or areas below the gum line. A digital dental x-ray can help diagnose any hidden infection or disease so we can create a more effective treatment plan.
- Identifying cavities, as it is not always possible to see some dental decay during a routine examination. Dental x-rays enable us to see right in between the contact areas of each tooth where decay can often develop.
- Showing the position of wisdom teeth so if we think they are impacted or cannot develop normally then we can make plans for them to be extracted as soon as possible.
Types of Dental X-rays
There are several different types of x-rays that can be used, but the most common are called bitewing x-rays which are very useful in showing the areas in between teeth that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Periapical x-rays show the entire tooth from the crown to the root as well as the supporting bone structure. These are useful when diagnosing gum disease or dental abscesses. Panoramic x-rays show all the teeth in one image and may be used if your child needs orthodontic treatment or has suffered a blow to the face.
Digital Dental X-Rays
A set of digital dental x-rays will only be ordered after your dentist has first examined your child’s mouth and determined the need for further examination. Our dental clinic adheres to the strict guidelines established by the American Dental Association as to the frequency of dental x-rays.
Digital dental x-rays don’t normally need to be taken at every visit, provided your child has no signs of active tooth decay or a history of cavities. If they do then Dr. Marina Krepkh may recommend x-rays every 6 to 12 months for children aged between one and five, or x-rays every 6 to 18 months for older children. For children with a healthy mouth, x-rays and normally any required every one to two years for children aged 1 to 5, and between one and three years for older children.