Our children’s dental and orthodontics office may recommend dental radiographs or x-rays. As a parent, it is only natural for you to worry about your child being exposed to radiation, leading you to ask: Are dental x-rays safe for my child? Or do they really need them? Here are some answers to your questions about dental x-rays.
Are dental x-rays really necessary for my child?
An x-ray is sometimes necessary so that your child’s dentist can properly assess any issues that may not be visible. A radiograph is a great tool that can be used to examine their teeth and jaw in great detail. Here are some reasons why your child’s dentist may recommend an x-ray:
- There may be decay between your child’s teeth.
- The root or surrounding bone structure may be abnormal.
- A developmental issue with your child’s jaw can be seen.
- Tumors or other growths may be present.
- Plan of treatment for orthodontics
- A blockage or Sjogren’s syndrome may be present.
- Facial fractures
How much radiation does my child receive during a typical radiograph?
Living on Earth exposes us all to radiation. Four bite-wing X-rays are equivalent to the amount of radiation each of us absorbs in just 14 hours a day. Going without proper dental treatment is more dangerous than taking radiographs judiciously.
The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is very low compared to other types of radiographs. According to Medical News Today, a CT head scan is equivalent to 243 days of natural background radiation, and a chest x-ray is equivalent to 2.4 days.
How will you protect my child during a radiograph?
A lead apron and thyroid collar will be used to protect your child. With current technology, we can restrict the x-ray beam to a small, targeted area. Radiation is filtered out, and today’s digital x-ray procedures are much faster and safer than they were 10 years ago.
Are x-rays recommended as a routine procedure for my child?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, x-rays should only be taken when necessary to properly assess your child’s oral health. The necessity of radiographs depends entirely on the individual child. Any recommended radiographs should be discussed with you by your child’s dentist prior to the procedure. Any oral health issues will be discussed, and they will explain why an x-ray is necessary.
How many different types of x-rays is my child likely to require?
Your children’s dentist will recommend the type of x-ray based on their specific needs. X-rays can be divided into two categories:
The first radiograph is an intraoral radiograph. One of the most common x-ray procedures is The film is placed inside the mouth of your child. In addition to the teeth, these x-rays allow the dentist to examine the root of the tooth and the surrounding bone.
The second type is extraoral radiographs. These x-rays are used to determine whether there are any problems with the jawbone or skull. This film will be located outside of your child’s mouth.
How can I ensure that I’m well informed about my child’s dental procedures?
All procedures are explained to you to your satisfaction by our children’s dental and orthodontic staff, including fillings, mouth guards, and x-rays. Our recommendations will be based on your child’s specific needs. Together, we can develop a plan to provide your child with lifelong dental health and a beautiful smile.
Do not hesitate to speak up if you don’t understand or are uncomfortable with a procedure. Knowing the benefits and risks of any recommended dental procedure is essential to a trusting relationship between you and our children’s dental and orthodontics office.
Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment.