Dental X-rays are used to help diagnose teeth development in children. They are also used to detect decay and other dental issues. X-rays are a part of a child's normal dental exam, but many parents question whether or not they are safe and necessary. If you are curious about dental X-rays for children, here are some things you may want to know:
Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Children?
When they are done properly, dental X-rays are among the safest radiologic procedures. Dental offices use modern equipment to make sure the child is safe during the procedure. The radiation dose is very minimal and is much faster thanks to digital technology used today rather than films that are used in older equipment. Additionally, children wear a lead apron during the X-rays to help restrict any stray radiation.
How Often Are Dental X-Rays Needed?
The frequency of your child's dental X-rays will be based on your child's dental health and any issues your child has with their teeth. If your child does not have a history of cavities or broken teeth, they might need dental exams at one appointment each year rather than both. However, if your child has significant decay or is at high risk of dental disease and needs ongoing care, dental X-rays may be necessary more often.
What Are the Most Common Dental X-Rays?
One of the most common dental X-rays is the bitewing X-ray. These are used to better detect tooth issues that are not easily seen by the naked eye. Bitewing X-rays focus primarily on the molars. The pictures show the dentist the areas where the teeth contact each other to detect cavities.
Periapical X-rays are used to look at one tooth, its root, and the jawbone supporting the tooth. These are needed if your child may have decay, gum disease, loss of bone, or abscesses.
Panoramic X-rays are used to take pictures of the whole mouth. These X-rays are necessary as your child grows and their mouth changes. They track the development of your child's mouth and teeth.
The bottom line is dental X-rays are beneficial to your child's overall oral health. They help dentists detect cavities faster so they can be dealt with before they become painful and damaging to the teeth. As your child grows into adolescence, the X-rays do not have to be as frequent as long as his or her oral health is good, and the child has no indication of dental disease. Contact a children's dentist for more information.