If all dental problems existed above the gum line, there would be no need for dental X-rays; however, this is simply not the case. Too often, decay, damage, and infections occur in areas that cannot be seen by the naked eye. To see a complete view of a child’s oral cavity, special imaging equipment must be used. But is it safe? Will a child be exposed to high levels of radiation? Read on to hear from a pediatric dentist who explains why the dental X-rays used today are much safer when it comes to capturing your little one’s smile.
Why Does a Child Need Dental X-Rays?
It might seem as if dental X-rays are only necessary for more mature teeth, but the truth is that young smiles are going through many unique changes. As a result, a dentist must be able to see how the teeth, gums, and bite develop over time. While everything might look fine on the surface (above the gum line), there can be problems occurring underneath that are only detectable when using high-resolution imaging.
A dentist can use dental X-rays to identify the following problems:
- An infection that is inside a tooth or its root
- Wisdom teeth that are impacted and angled incorrectly, pushing against healthy teeth
- Whether there is enough space for permanent teeth to erupt
- If baby teeth are falling out correctly
- If cysts or abnormal lesions are forming
- If a cavity is forming between two teeth
But Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Yes, the dental X-rays used by most dental professionals today are completely safe for children. Because they are now digital, they use up to 90% less radiation than traditional film. Also, this form of digital radiography produces higher quality images, allowing dentists to easily view the entire oral cavity and create a more accurate treatment plan. Not to mention, the digital component allows images to be stored electronically, making it easier to refer to in the future if necessary.
Should your child’s pediatric dentist recommend X-rays for your child, you can trust that the process will be quick, easy, and comfortable for your little one. While wearing a lead apron and thyroid collar to shield their body, your child will remain still while a small sensor quickly captures the necessary images. Each X-ray takes only one-tenth of a second, allowing for a much shorter experience and minimal radiation exposure.
Depending on your child’s needs, they may or may not require dental X-rays as often as another patient. This will be up to the discretion of your child’s pediatric dentist. But even if they do require more frequent imaging, you can feel more comfortable and confident knowing the right precautions are being used to keep your child safe at the dentist’s office.
About the Practice
At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mira Albert believes in a “prescription radiology” approach that means dental X-rays are only taken when absolutely necessary. Understanding that parents have concerns about their child’s safety when undergoing this type of imaging process, she and her team closely evaluate each patient to determine the appropriate course of action. However, should digital X-rays be required, Dr. Albert will discuss the need, usage, and safety protocols used to keep your child safe while ensuring their future smile. If you have questions about dental X-rays, contact us at (630) 504-2223.