Over the years x-rays have become something of concern to parents. The radiation from X-rays can be harmful to patients and many parents are understandably concerned for their children. As a joint effort by concerned patients and parents, in addition to the dental industry, many pediatric dental offices offer X-ray solutions that are much safer.
Many digital x-rays today have 80 – 90% less radiation that past x-ray technology used decades ago. In addition to more effective x-ray technology, there is also much more safety equipment that help lower the exposure of x-rays to patients. You may be familiar with some of these safety items like aprons and shields.
At Showtime Smiles Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry we use the safest digital x-ray technology, which reduces radiation exposure by as much as 90% over conventional, traditional x-rays. So you can feel safe knowing that when you take your child in, their exposure to radiation will be minimal.
Why Do Pediatric Dentists use X-Rays?
We get asked by many parents why pediatric dentists have to use x-rays. In the past, many patients did what they were told and when doctors took x-rays, patients didn’t ask questions. The relationship between patients and doctors has opened up and a healthy, transparent relationship has formed. This is something we love to see because it makes the care for our community’s children’s health and oral health better. Buy in from parents and the pediatric dentist make everything so much more effective.
Now saying that, x-rays give pediatric dentists the ability to diagnose and monitor children’s dental health with the highest amount of accuracy. During our regular teeth cleanings our hygienists and pediatric dentist will do a visual, oral examination, however this isn’t enough. There are areas of the mouth and conditions that we want to monitor for that the eyes cannot see. By taking x-rays, our team is much better able to catch anything that is unusual or potentially a problem.
Some conditions that x-rays allow pediatric dentists to check include:
- Early orthodontic health concerns
- Complete view of any oral injuries
- Primary or permanent teeth erupting
- Possible dental bone disease
- Causes of swelling in the mouth
A large part of diagnosing oral health isn’t on the surface. With children, many things are changing. They are losing baby teeth, permanent teeth are coming in. X-rays allow doctors to make sure that teeth are coming in properly, jaw structure is solid and detecting cavities in hard to see areas before the grow into major problems. These x-rays help pediatric dentists have record of what is going on holistically and help find cavities and decay that would have been otherwise unseen to the naked eye.
Dental x-rays will also be used to evaluate bigger issues like:
- Diagnosing bone disease
- Diagnosing oral pathology
- Evaluate results from trauma
- Abscess or cyst development
- Planning orthodontic development
How Often do we use X-Rays?
At Showtime Smiles Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry we follow the strictest regimen when it comes to using x-rays. Every child is a little different, however we typically take x-rays once a year. When a child has a high risk of tooth decay or their oral health is of concern we may increase the frequency. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the use of x-rays every 6 months for children which is what we follow if we are concerned with a child and want to make sure we stay on top of their health as possible.
For those parents who truly want to minimize the use of x-rays, encouraging your child to maintain strong oral habits is even more imperative. When a child has strong healthy teeth, the need for x-rays is lessened and our staff will not need to take as many x-rays.
X-Rays at Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry
When it comes to x-rays we welcome a dialogue between parents and our staff. Dr. Dan is extremely hands on and creates treatment plans that fits each child and family best. If you have a concern about x-ray technology, feel free to schedule some time with Dr. Dan to discuss and he can walk you through the cutting edge equipment the office uses and every step we take to ensure that we keep exposure to radiation as minimal as possible.