X-rays (radiographs) are a vital and necessary part of your child's dental diagnostic process. Without them, many dental conditions can and will be missed. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
Our office policy on dental x-rays correlates with the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Generally x-rays are taken once each year. These annual x-rays detect cavities between the teeth and check on the development of roots and permanent teeth. If we are monitoring a traumatized tooth or a questionable area for decay, x-rays will be taken more frequently.
Beginning at approximately age six, a panoramic x-ray will be recommended. A panoramic film is taken every three years. This important x-ray shows the entire oral cavity including the upper and lower jaws, the tempromandibular joints and sinuses. This allows us to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone disease, evaluate the result of an injury, and plan orthodontic treatment if needed.
Our doctors and licensed staff members are extremely careful to minimize the exposure of your child to radiation. Our office uses high-speed film, lead aprons and modern equipment to filter out unnecessary radiation and restrict the x-ray beam to the area of interest. The risk of dental x-rays is far less than an undetected and untreated dental problem.
Are X-rays safe? Modern dental x-ray machines are very safe. We use only state-of-the-art, low radiation machines. The amount of radiation exposure your body receives on an airplane flight from Los Angeles to New York exceeds the amount of exposure you will receive from a modern dental x-ray machine. Contrast this minimal exposure with the risk of not finding an illness until it is too late, and you can see why we prescribe regular diagnostic x-rays.