Why Does My Child Need X-Rays?
A child dental x-ray finds problems in the mouth such as tooth decay (especially early stage decay between the teeth), damage to the boney structure of the mouth and dental injuries. The earlier a dental problem is found and treated the better it is for your child.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-rays every 6 to 12 months from the age of two. Each child is unique and so the number of X-rays will vary with age, medical/dental history and the results of the dental exam.
What kinds of dental X-rays are there?
The three most common types of X-rays:
1. Bitewing X-rays show upper and lower teeth in one image from the crown to about the level of the bone that supports the teeth. They detect decay between teeth and changes caused by bone disease.
2. Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth (in the selected area), from the crown to beyond the end of the root where the tooth attaches in the jaw. These X-rays can find problems below the gums, including impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or other problems.
3. Panoramic X-rays capture the entire mouth in a two-dimensional image with a single X-ray. These X-rays detect positions of un-erupted teeth, abscesses, and other problems. They also help plan orthodontic treatment and to evaluate growth and development.
Panoramic or Periapical X-rays monitor the development of wisdom teeth in late adolescence.
Are Dental X-rays safe for my child?
A child dental X-ray is safe but while all X-rays expose the individual to radiation not all X-ray equipment is equal. At Jenkins & LeBlanc, we use Digital Radiography, the latest in child dental X-ray technology, which decreases the radiation exposure by 80 – 90% when compared to traditional film X-rays. In addition, we follow all safety protocols to further minimize exposure including the use of lead aprons and shields.
What is Digital Radiography?
In Digital Radiography a flat electronic pad or sensor replaces film. The X-rays hits the pad the same way they hit the film in older equipment but instead of waiting for the film to develop, the image is sent directly to a computer where the image appears on the screen. Along with the benefit of low radiation exposure, this system also allows the image to be stored digitally and quickly accessed to compare with previous images. Your child’s dental records become easily transferable in the event of a move or when graduating to adult dentistry. The ease of transferring records reduces the duplication of X-rays and the expense.
Your child and their dental health are important to us! If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call for more information or an appointment.