Learn why you must make your child have regular dental x-rays taken.
There are many benefits of dental X-rays such as they help to diagnose cavities, periodontal disease and infections when they are not evident on examination.
A dental radiograph in a child shows;
- Areas of decay that may not be seen on visual examination.
- Monitor growth and development of a tooth (observe the number, size and position of unerupted teeth).
- Periodic X-rays may be done to see if the space in the mouth is enough to fit all the new teeth
- Determine presence of extra (supernumerary) teeth, or if a tooth is missing or whether the tooth has got impacted (unable to emerge through the gums).
- Look for mouth and teeth injuries, bone diseases
X-ray can aid to diagnose certain dental problems in initial stages and allow planning of treatment accordingly. There are several other benefits of dental X-rays in children specially while planning for orthodontic treatment. There is no specific schedule for dental X-rays. Your child’s dentist may advice for an X-ray as required.
There are various types of dental X-rays (extraoral and intraoral X-rays). These help to look at different aspects of the teeth and jaw. Your dentist may recommend Bite-wing X-rays, Periapical X-rays, Panoramic X-rays, Orthodontic X-rays (also called cephalometric or lateral skull), depending on what he or she wants to look at.
Dental X-rays are very safe although like any other X-ray they are also associated with some risk. However the risk is less as compared to the diagnostic benefit. Dentists are aware of the risk associated with X-rays, and to prevent excessive exposure your doctor will take care not to recommend X-ray unless required.
Several advances have been made to limit X-ray exposure. In addition it is important to realize that many critical organs such as the breast, gonads are not exposed to radiation during dental X-ray. Your dentist will definitely use means to limit X-ray exposure and the associated risks.
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