Dental X-Rays And Your Child

Your dentist may require that your child undergo digital dental radiography at some point. This type of procedure is more commonly called an x-ray. X-rays are usually done when your child has had many cavities or your dentist suspects that the child's teeth may not be forming properly in the mouth. Parents are often concerned when they hear about an x-ray because they fear that their child will be exposed to harmful radiation. It is helpful for every parent to know about the different types of x-rays and their function, as well as how radiation exposure can be minimized for their child.

Cavity Detecting X-ray

It can be difficult to see what is taking place between the teeth in the back of the mouth, because some children have teeth that are in very close contact with each other. This often makes it impossible to see newly formed cavities. Your dentist may ask that your child have an x-ray that gives a closer view of what is happening in those tight spaces between the teeth.

Periapical X-ray

These x-rays are requested by dentists when they wish to see what is happening below your child's baby teeth. The x-ray will help to show if permanent teeth are about to erupt and if they will do so in the correct manner. If your child is suffering from gum disease, your dentist may also request this type of x-ray.

Panoramic X-ray

If your child suffers a sport injury or a fall that causes damage to their face and teeth, the dentist will often request a panoramic x-ray so that they can see the upper and lower teeth on one film. This x-ray also helps your dentist to see the joints and sinuses that are located above the upper teeth.

Lateral Skull X-ray

A lateral skull x-ray gives the dentist a view of your child's head from the side. It is especially useful for orthodontists when they wish to outfit a child with braces, as it shows how your child's jaws are developing, as well as how the bones in your child's skull are situated.

How will radiation risk be minimized for my child?

X-rays tend to be very safe and the beams are usually very focused. However, precautions will still be taken to ensure that minimum amounts of radiation affect your child. A lead body apron or a body shield is often used to protect the child's thyroid area. They may also be used to protect the child's genitals and reproductive areas during x-rays.

Contact a trusted dentist, such as Joe Rosenberg, DDS, to further ensure your child's safety and comfort.