When learning your child needs dental x-rays, there are likely two questions that come to mind. “Are they necessary,” and “are they safe?” You’re not alone in your concerns, especially if you grew up with your dentist using traditional methods to capture images of your smile. Fortunately, dental technology has come a long way and now offers safer solutions that produce clearer images. Read on to hear from a pediatric dentist who shares the importance of dental x-rays and why you have nothing to fear when it comes to your child’s safety.
Are Dental X-Rays Necessary for Children?
Much like adults, children, too, need dental x-rays. The reason for this is that the pediatric dentist must be able to view the areas underneath the surface of the gums. If the visible parts of the mouth were the only concern, there would be no need for these digital images; however, that is simply not the case. Far too often, especially in young smiles, cavities, misalignment, and other common problems can develop in portions of the oral cavity that cannot be seen. As a result, it is necessary to capture images that allow your child’s dentist to have a more comprehensive view of their smile and facial structure.
With the help of clear and accurate dental x-rays, a pediatric dentist can identify:
- Whether baby teeth are falling out when they should
- If there is enough space for permanent teeth to properly erupt
- If teeth appear impacted or are out of alignment
- Whether decay is forming on a tooth or between teeth
- If a cyst or abnormality is forming
- If there is an infection
By catching these problems early on using dental x-rays, your child’s dentist can minimize the potential risk of worsening oral health conditions and prevent more serious restorative treatment later on.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe for Children?
Unlike traditional film x-rays that required a higher exposure to radiation and harmful chemicals to produce, today’s dental imaging is much safer for children. With digital x-rays, your child will not only be more comfortable, but the radiation exposure is up to 90% less! And with newer technology allowing for clearer, more high-resolution images, your child’s dentist can provide a more accurate diagnosis, which will lead to a more thorough and successful treatment plan.
Ultimately, it is up to the pediatric dentist as to how often your child will need dental x-rays. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends every six months for those who are at high risk for cavities, but this is a decision you and your child’s dentist can discuss during their regular six-month visits.
Although you may feel apprehensive about dental x-rays for your child, you can trust that their pediatric dentist is looking out for their safety first. With newer technology gracing more dental offices, you can feel comfortable and confident when signing off on dental imaging for your little one.
About the Author
Dr. Homer Sedighi is a board-certified pediatric dentist in St. Louis who completed his dental doctorate at the Washington University School of Dental Medicine. After finishing a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Rochester, he opened his own practice. Dr. Sedighi is here to provide you and your child with helpful information and facts that are designed to ensure the lifespan of their smile. As the first pediatric dentist in St. Louis to use digital x-rays, they emit up to 90% less radiation than traditional methods. He can review areas beneath the surface of the gums to ensure your child’s smile is in optimal shape. If you are curious about the safety of dental x-rays, contact us at (636) 777-7777.