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Dental X-Rays for Children: Everything You Need to Know

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While people of all ages need to get regular dental checkups every six months, dental checkups are especially vital for children. Children are more vulnerable to cavities and tooth decay. The sooner they start getting regular dental checkups; the earlier these issues can be detected and prevented.

In some cases, during visits to the child dentist, the dentist may recommend your child gets a dental x-ray. While dental x-rays aren’t usually the first diagnosis option, they can provide valuable insights. But are dental xrays suitable for your child? Read on to learn more about what dental x-rays are, the various types of x-rays, and when they are necessary.

What Are Dental X-rays?

Like other x-rays (radiographs), dental x-rays can give dentists a better visual picture. They can allow dentists to see areas between and inside the teeth that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam.

Types of Dental X-Rays

There are several types of dental x-rays. Depending on what the dentist wants to assess, your child’s dentist may recommend the following x-rays:

1. Bitewing

This x-ray examines the top and bottom teeth in one particular part of the mouth. For instance, a bitewing may show the premolars from the crown to the bone level. A bitewing can be used to identify developing cavities and potential gum disease.

2. Periapical

Periapical x-rays are more focused. They can allow your child’s dentist to examine a single tooth. They are ideal for spotting issues such as severe decay, gum disease, and dental abscesses.

3. Panoramic

A panoramic x-ray takes a picture of your child’s entire mouth. Panoramic x-rays are ideal for monitoring overall teeth development and issues such as emerging and impacted teeth.

When Are Dental X-rays Recommended?

Children’s dentists typically don’t recommend dental x-rays unless they’ve performed a complete oral examination. However, your child’s dentist may recommend an x-ray for the following reasons:

Are X-rays Safe for My Child?

Now that you know the types of x-rays and when they’re recommended for your child, you may be concerned about their safety. According to the American Dental Association, dental x-rays are safe. While they will expose your child to radiation, the radiation levels are very low. What’s more, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises dentists to follow specific guidelines. The guidelines advise dentists only to take x-rays when necessary. Most pediatric dentists adhere to this guideline.

While oral examinations are an excellent way to assess the development of your child’s teeth, sometimes they may not give your child’s dentist the whole picture. With an x-ray, the pediatric dentist will spot issues that can’t be easily spotted and prevent them from before they get worse.

Are you interested in learning more about dental x-rays? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center today.

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