X-rays are helpful diagnostic tools that we recommend once a child is 4 years old. In order to view all areas of the mouth and jaw, we typically need to take four x-ray images. Although these images are essential to the dentist’s ability to detect hidden cavities and tooth eruption problems, we are also committed to protecting your child’s health throughout the process.
In order to minimize the level of radiation exposure during the x-ray process, we take the following precautions for our young patients:
- We only use digital equipment. Digital images are far more accurate and provide more diagnostic information than traditional x-ray films.
- All patients wear a lead apron with a protective thyroid collar.
- Small digital sensors are used, which require approximately 1/10 of the radiation dose required for traditional x-ray film.
- Only a minimum number of X-rays are taken to enable the dentist to properly view all areas of the mouth.
The American Dental Association recommends X-rays every other year for children who are not prone to cavities and once to twice per year for children with a high risk for cavities in order to monitor any new cavity progression. Additional x-rays can be taken throughout the year, as needed, in the case of accidents, injuries, or pain in the mouth.
As an adult, if you remember dental x-rays to be unpleasant or uncomfortable, then you will be pleased to know that the procedure has changed significantly. The digital x-ray sensor features rounded edges that don’t poke the roof of the mouth or the delicate areas under the tongue. Also, the image can be captured in a fraction of a second, making the entire process faster and easier than ever.
What’s the coolest thing about children’s dental x-rays? You get to see all of your teeth! Dental x-rays don’t just show us the teeth that you can see when you smile—they also show us the teeth that haven’t grown in yet. This is an interesting view of your smile and it also helps the dentist to check the growth of your grownup teeth! Now that’s pretty cool!