X-Ray Use & Safety
Q. How often should a child have dental X-ray films?
A. Since every child is unique, the need for dental X-rays varies from child to child. X-rays are taken only when they are likely to yield information that a visual exam cannot.
In general, children need X-rays more frequently than adults. Children are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. Their jaws are growing and changing continuously, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently.
Q. Why does my child need X-rays when he/she never had a cavity?
A. Dental X-rays detect much more than cavities. For example, X-rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, and evaluate the results of an injury. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a visual examination.
Q. Does my child need X-rays at every appointment?
A. No. X-rays are recommended only when it is necessary. The frequency of having X-rays is determined by your child’s risk for cavities and many other factors.
Q. How safe are dental X-rays?
A. Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize exposure to radiation for patients. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problems.
Q. How will my child be protected when having dental X-rays?
A. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. The current X-rays machine filters unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.
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