Dental X Rays for Children

Updated at: Mar 12, 2012
Dental X Rays for Children

Learn why you must make your child have regular dental x-rays taken.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Tips for ParentWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Mar 12, 2012

Dental X Rays

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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