X-rays. Walking into a dentist’s office and hearing that they’ll need to take X-rays of your mouth can be pretty daunting for a child! Even though it’s a painless, easy process, many children have not experienced getting that neat little picture taken. But have no fear! At Triangle Pediatric Dentistry, we aim to make your experience with us the most comfortable easy process for you and your child.
Dental X-rays are an essential part of a dental examination, so don’t be alarmed! These X-rays assist the dentist in inspecting areas of the mouth that can’t easily be seen from the outside. The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages dentists and patients to discuss the need for X-rays and how they can help during the treatment process.
Some areas that an X-Ray may expose are:
- Areas of decay between the teeth or below existing fillings
- Bone infections
- Periodontal disease
- Abscesses or cysts
- Developmental abnormalities
At Triangle Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend that children receive yearly X-rays of their back teeth, referred to as ‘Bite-wing X-rays’ as soon as the 1st and 2nd primary molars begin to touch. Bite-wing X-Rays focus on the crowns of the back teeth. These are called bite-wings because you bite down on a wing-shaped device while the X-ray is taken. The Bite-wing X-rays reveal any form of decay in the back teeth.
Another type of X-ray that we tend to use in the office is called: a Panorex, or Panoramic X-ray. Around the age of six years old, or when permanent molars begin to erupt, we recommend a Panoramic X-ray. This X-ray is a two dimensional dental x-ray that captures the entire mouth in a single image. This includes the teeth, upper and lower jaws, and surrounding structures and tissues. Although this x-ray isn’t unsuited for detecting cavities, these x-rays allow the dentist to monitor and regulate growth and development.
As a parent, you may be concerned about your child receiving dental x-rays; however, we’d like to assure you that these x-rays are completely safe for children. Our office uses digital x-rays that require less radiation than the traditional x-ray film. By using this method, we’ve found that the risk of radiation is extremely low in comparison to the risk of undetected and untreated dental ailments. During the x-ray, we focus on areas of interest and mandate lead body aprons be worn for protection. Extensive precaution and digital x-rays during the procedure ensures your child’s safety and minimal radiation exposure!
Dental X-Rays are a very important part of a dental exam. X-Rays allow the dentist to see areas of the mouth that can’t be visualized just by looking in the mouth. They allow the dentist to see in between the teeth where two teeth touch together, a very common place for cavities to form. Furthermore, the dentist can use X-Rays to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment .
We recommend that children get X-Rays of their back teeth (called bitewing X-Rays) as soon as the 1st and 2nd primary molars begin to touch each other. We recommend that they get X-Rays on their back teeth yearly. Some children with a high risk of cavities may even need X-Rays on their back teeth every six months. These X-Rays on the back teeth are primarily for detecting cavities between the back teeth.
Sometimes, if a child has a large cavity on a tooth or has pain on a tooth we will take an X-Ray that shows that tooth and the bone underneath it. This X-Ray is called a periapcial X-Ray and is good for determining if there is any infection present with a tooth. A periapical X-Ray is also very good for detecting any problems associated with the tooth root. This X-Rays are not taken on a yearly basis and are only taken to address specific problems.
Once children have the eruption of their permanent molars (usually around 6 years of age) we will take a Panorex, or panoramic x-ray. This is an X-Ray that goes the whole way around a child’s head to take a picture that shows all of the upper and lower jaws along with all of the erupted and unerupted teeth. This allows for the dentist to assess the child’s growth and development and check to make sure that there are not any problems associated with the jaw bones. This X-Ray is not particularly good for detecting cavities.
X-Rays are safe for children. Our office uses digital X-Rays that require less radiation than traditional X-Ray films. 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 undetected and untreated dental problems. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child. Digital X-rays and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.