Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Dental radiographs, also known as dental X-rays, are important diagnostic tools in pediatric dentistry.  Dental radiographs allow the dentist to see and treat problems like childhood cavities, tooth decay, orthodontic misalignment, bone injuries, and bone diseases before they worsen.  These issues would be difficult (in some cases impossible) to see with the naked eye during a clinical examination.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) approves the use of dental radiographs for diagnostic purposes in children and teenagers.  Although radiographs only emit tiny amounts of radiation and are safe to use on an occasional basis, the AAPD guidelines aim to protect young people from unnecessary X-ray exposure.

What are dental X-rays used for?

Dental x-rays are extremely versatile diagnostic tools.  Some of their main uses in pediatric dentistry include:

  • Assessing the amount of space available for incoming teeth.
  • Checking whether primary teeth are being shed in good time for adult teeth to emerge.
  • Evaluating the progression of bone disease.
  • Monitoring and diagnosing tooth decay.
  • Planning treatment (especially orthodontic treatment).
  • Revealing bone injuries, abscesses, and tumors.
  • Revealing impacted wisdom teeth.

When will my child need dental X-rays?

Individual circumstances dictate how often a child needs to have dental radiographs taken.  Children at higher-than-average risk of childhood tooth decay (as determined by the pediatric dentist) may need biannual radiographs to monitor changes in the condition of the teeth.  Likewise, children who are at high risk for orthodontic problems, for example, malocclusion, may also need sets of radiographs taken more frequently for monitoring purposes.

Children at average or below average risk for tooth decay and orthodontic problems should have a set of dental X-rays taken every one to two years.  Even in cases where the pediatric dentist suspects no decay at all, it is still important to periodically monitor tooth and jaw growth – primarily to ensure there is sufficient space available for incoming permanent teeth.

If the oral region has been subject to trauma or injury, the pediatric dentist may want to X-ray the mouth immediately.  Developments in X-ray technology mean that specific areas of the mouth can be targeted and X-rayed separately, reducing the amount of unnecessary X-ray exposure.

What precautions will be taken to ensure my child’s safety?

Though dental radiographs are perfectly safe for use on children, the pediatric dentist will take several precautions to ensure the X-ray process does not unduly damage the child’s cells and bodily tissues.

First, the child will be covered in a lead apron to protect the body from unnecessary exposure.  Second, the dentist will use shields to protect the parts of the face that are not being X-rayed.  Finally, the pediatric dentist will use high-speed film to reduce radiation exposure as much as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about dental radiographs or X-rays, please contact your pediatric dentist.

Testimonials.

Read what people are saying about us.

read more

Testimonials

100% recommend this dentist! I am from out of town and was camping, and woke up with exploding pain in my jaw. Dr. Chisholm saw me on short notice on a Friday afternoon, did a thorough examination, and found out my problems were in my jaw, not in my teeth. He ground down an existing crown to make my bite even, And I experienced immediate relief. He could have charged an arm and a leg but was conscientious of my financial status and luckily didn’t even need to do x-rays. He recommended a chiropractic jaw adjustment, which I appreciate immensely. He’s very personable and it took time to sit and talk with me and make sure I understood everything. You will be in good hands with Dr. Chisholm!

Suzette S.

Great dentists. Worked well with my kids.

I had a crown. There were a few things that made it better than my last 3 crowns at 2 different dentists. First is that it was pain free. He did a good job at numbing. A few uncomfortable moments but no grip the chair in pain moments like I'd had with other crowns. The other was he used a dental dam. Kind of annoying for breathing and clamping on tooth not fun, but I have silver fillings and the dam prevented the silver (with mercury) from getting lodged in my mouth (one prior dentists i had to stop and fish a piece of filling from the back of my throat).

Cost is on par with other dentists I would have expected a bit cheaper due to the location but on par nonetheless.

Aaron S.

Very friendly and they do great work.

Jarom L.

View More

Contact Us. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.