You may have been told that your child needs to do dental radiographs, or dental X-rays, at their next visit. While this may be nerve wracking to you or your child, Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry is here to put you at ease by answering your questions and giving more information on dental radiographs and their importance.

How are dental radiographs used?

Pediatric dentists use dental X-rays during the diagnostic process to determine more information about your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. More specifically, pediatric dental radiographs are used to:

● See the number, size and position of teeth that are still inside the gums
● See how the teeth are erupting
● Diagnose cavities in between teeth that are touching each other
● Detect problems that can’t be seen with a visual exam
● Identify bone diseases
● Determine if there are missing teeth or extra teeth
● Monitor mouth and teeth injuries
● Detect any infections in the teeth or mouth
● Prepare for braces and other orthodontic treatment

How often should dental x-rays be done?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, radiographs and examinations should be conducted every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Most pediatric dentists request dental X-rays once a year. Additionally, Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry recommends obtaining a complete set of radiographs (panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings) once every three years.

Are dental radiographs safe for my child?

It’s not uncommon for a parent to worry about their child’s safety during dental X-rays. However, dental X-rays are actually very safe. Children are only exposed to a small amount of radiation and precautions are put in place to prevent unnecessary radiation. High-speed film enables the dentist to reduce the amount of radiation the patient receives and a lead body apron is placed over the child’s body. The lead apron covers your child’s neck all the way down to the thighs to protect from radiation exposure. Modern equipment allows dentists to focus the X-ray beam on just a small, specific part of the mouth to reduce the amount of radiation used.

If you have more questions about dental radiographs or how they are used to provide better dental care for your child, reach out to our pediatric dentist office in Charlotte.