X-rays (radiographs) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.

X-rays detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic (braces) treatment. X-rays enable dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs every 6 months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. In addition, most pediatric dentists request bitewing radiographs once a year and panoramic (full-mouth) every 5 years.

Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With the use of lead aprons and digital radiographs, the amount of radiation received in a dental radiograph examination is extremely small. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest.

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