Are X-Rays really necessary?

While all the pediatric dentists at the Dental Ark are super heroes, unfortunately, we were not given the power of X-ray vision!

Parents will often ask why we recommend their child, with a healthy and beautiful smile, have X-rays taken of their teeth.  The explanation is simple!

There are many parts of a tooth and its supporting structures that are hidden by either the teeth touching eachother or gum tissue blocking the view.  It is important, especially at a child’s initial dental visit, to utilize all available tools in order to gain an accurate picture of a child’s oral health.

Most X-rays are prescribed to identify or rule out the tricky cavities that can develop between the teeth and are not visible in the mouth.  Other X-rays, like a panoramic, are recommended to ensure normal growth and development of forming teeth like wisdom teeth and supporting bone structures. Also to make sure there are no cysts, teeth growing incorrectly or hidden extra and missing teeth!

It is important to remember that once a baseline is established, parents should work with their pediatric dentist to determine which type and how often subsequent X-rays will need to be taken.  Your pediatric dentist will use factors such as spacing, age, caries risk assessment, diet, oral hygiene and development concerns in order to make that decision.

The ultimate goal is to be able to identify cavities when they are small or recognize developmental issues early before they cause extensive damage, create extra work or have a damaging effect on your child’s oral health. We want to prevent problems or find them when they are small!

For more information, speak directly with our pediatric dentist or review the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Guidelines at www.aapd.org.