Regular checkups with a family or pediatric dentist in Brighton will help your child stay ahead of preventable dental problems. From gentle professional cleanings to thorough dental exams, routinely monitoring your child’s oral development makes it simpler to intercept possible issues while they’re still small (and well before they become big issues.) A child teeth X-ray is an integral piece of this puzzle and an essential tool in your child’s “routine” checkup.
Importance of Child Dental X-rays
Digital child teeth X-rays make it possible to see areas that aren’t visible during a clinical exam. From areas between the teeth, just inside of the tooth enamel, and around the roots of teeth, each of these spaces are common areas that can become infected.
With a child teeth X-ray, we can spot problems like:
- Impacted adult teeth
- Cysts within the bone
- Abscessed teeth
- Tooth decay
- Missing teeth
- Atypical tooth development
Are Dental X-rays Safe for Children?
Absolutely. Today’s digital X-rays use up to 90% less radiation than the X-rays most of us received as children a few decades ago. The equipment today exposes patients to less radiation than what you would get from spending a day out in the sun, or taking an airplane flight from coast to coast. It’s that low.
You might ask, “Well then why all of the precautions?” It’s simple. We want to keep your child’s (and our staff’s) exposure as low as reasonably possible. So, we use lead aprons to any block scatter radiation to organs like their thyroid gland and reproductive tissues, as those are the ones that are generally more susceptible to any type of secondary exposure.
Types of X-rays
Depending on your child’s age, we use different types of children’s X-rays to assess various areas of their oral anatomy. Here are just a few examples:
Occlusal Films — One of the first X-rays we’ll take on your child once they’re ready, is an occlusal film. These small X-rays allow us to monitor the eruption and placement of their front teeth, early on during development.
Periapicals (PAs) — Any time we need to see the entire length of a specific tooth, we will need to take a PA X-ray. This film will capture the full tooth anatomy and immediate surrounding areas so that we can determine if there is an abscess, resorbing root, or some type of cyst affecting the root area of certain teeth. PAs are taken on a case-by-case basis when there is a concern.
Bitewings — Most cavities form between back teeth or in the deep chewing surfaces of your child’s molars. We use bitewing X-rays to quickly capture all of the cavity-prone back teeth at one time. These X-rays only show the areas above the gumline on the upper and lower teeth.
Panoramics (Pano) — This full-mouth film shows your child’s entire jaw, all of the teeth, and even their TMJ joints. We typically use it to evaluate tooth eruption patterns, impacted teeth, and pre-screen for orthodontic complications. It’s common to have one taken around age 7 when there’s a combination of adult and baby teeth in your child’s mouth, then once every 3-5 years thereafter.
The Danger of Skipping X-rays
X-rays provide us with the tools to intercept issues early. Without them, common problems can evolve into complex treatment needs. For example, a small cavity can easily be filled. But waiting to take an X-ray until the tooth hurts may mean the tooth has already abscessed. It would be like seeing your medical doctor for a routine physical without running any bloodwork or labs. Dental X-rays provide us with a whole picture for better long-term preventative care.
Looking for a Pediatric Dentist in Brighton?
Our kids dentist near you makes it simple to access comprehensive children’s dentistry in a fun, friendly atmosphere. At Kids City Dental, our kid-focused general dentists are committed to ensuring that every child has the chance to enjoy healthy teeth for life. Contact us today to reserve an appointment.