Dental X-rays are images of your jaw and teeth taken right in your pediatric dentist office. There are several different types of x-rays, and they allow your dentist to take a closer look at the growth and development of your child’s mouth and overall dental health. X-rays can be used to detect cavities, diagnose bone disease, examine erupting teeth, and evaluate dental injuries. Dental x-rays use a low level of radiation to capture close-up images of your child’s teeth and gums. Taken only when necessary, these x-rays are a safe way to evaluate your child’s dental needs.
Why Do Children Need Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are taken for many reasons, all with the purpose of keeping your child’s smile happy and healthy. Taking dental x-rays allows your child’s dentist to diagnose and treat conditions that would not normally be detected during a routine oral health exam.
Due to the rapid pace in which a child’s mouth grows, children generally need x-rays more frequently than adults. X-rays give dentists an inside look to the development of their mouth. In addition, children tend to be more susceptible to tooth decay, and may require more frequent x-rays. For high caries risk patients, it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to conduct x-rays every 6 months to 1 year. Your child’s dentist will recommend the best frequency of x-rays for their needs.
How Safe are Dental X-Rays for Kids?
Dental x-rays are safe for your children. Dentistry for Children Maryland takes your child’s safety very seriously, and we take every precaution necessary to ensure your child is safe and comfortable during an x-ray. Our dental team utilizes many safeguards during x-rays, such as lead aprons, high-speed film, digital x-rays, and thyroid collars. Our dentists will not prescribe x-rays unless they are necessary.
Should I Be Worried About Radiation Exposure?
The amount of radiation emitted during dental x-rays is very low. In fact, dental x-rays represent a much smaller risk to your child than leaving dental problems undetected and untreated. Our dentists only recommend x-rays when they are necessary to evaluate your child’s dental health. With the safety measures we take, such as lead aprons, digital x-rays, and thyroid collars, we make sure the risk of radiation exposure is as low as possible.
When Should My Child Get X-Rays?
Our dentists only recommend x-rays when they are necessary. If your child’s dentist needs to evaluate or monitor dental health, they will prescribe an appropriate frequency of x-rays based on your child’s needs. Our dentists follow guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and base the frequency on your child’s risk of caries determined by the initial x-rays taken at your child’s regular exam.
Different Types of Dental X-Rays
- Bite-wing X-ray: During a bite-wing x-ray, your child will bite down a piece of plastic and take the image to examine the alignment of their upper and lower teeth. This allows your child’s dentist to take a look at their bite and also locate cavities and changes to the jawbone caused by gum disease.
- Panoramic X-ray: Just like a panoramic photo, a panoramic x-ray takes one picture of your entire mouth. Your child’s dentist will have them bite down on a “bite blocker” as the arm of the x-ray machine rotates to capture their smile. Panoramic x-rays are commonly used for orthodontic treatment.
- Occlusal X-ray: An occlusal x-ray takes a closer look at a section of teeth or the upper or lower arch of teeth. Similar to a bite-wing x-ray, your child will bite down on a piece of plastic and give dentists a way to look at permanent teeth that are still under the surface.
- Periapical X-ray: Periapical x-rays take an image of a small section of teeth, from root to crown. Dentists use periapical x-rays to detect any changes in your tooth that may need to be addressed.
Contact Us to Schedule an X-Ray!
Contact Dentistry for Children Maryland today to schedule an x-ray. Any of our conveniently located offices throughout Maryland is here to help your child achieve healthy smiles for life!