Are Dental X-rays Important? (Dental FAQ)

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Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.

X-Rays detect much more than cavities. For example, X-Rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-Rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-Rays and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. On average, most pediatric dentists request radiographs approximately once a year. Approximately every 3 years it is a good idea to obtain a special set of radiographs, either a panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings.

Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

This question comes from our dental FAQ page.

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Geoff

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