Dental X-rays or radiographs, are important diagnostic tools in dentistry. X-rays allow the dentist to diagnose tooth decay, infections, cysts, tumors, extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth, misalignment, bone injuries, and bone diseases.
Are X-rays Safe?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) approves the use of dental X-rays for diagnostic purposes in children and adults. Although dental X-rays only emit tiny amounts of radiation and are safe to use on an occasional basis, the AAPD guidelines aim to protect young people from unnecessary X-ray exposure. Our office uses state of the art digital x-ray systems which decrease exposure by 70% compared to the old film systems.
When will my child need dental X-rays?
Individual circumstances dictate how often a child needs to have dental X-rays taken. Children at high risk of dental problems may need X-rays more often. On average, children may begin taking a minimum amount of X-rays around age 3 or 4.
Children at average or below average risk for tooth decay and orthodontic problems should have a set of dental X-rays taken every one to two years. Even in cases where the pediatric dentist suspects no decay at all, it is still important to periodically monitor tooth and jaw growth – primarily to ensure there is sufficient space available for incoming permanent teeth.
If the oral region has been subject to trauma or injury, the pediatric dentist may want to X-ray the mouth immediately. Developments in X-ray technology mean that specific areas of the mouth can be targeted and X-rayed separately, reducing the amount of unnecessary X-ray exposure.
If you have questions or concerns about dental X-rays, please contact your pediatric dentist.