Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

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Dental Radiographs (X-Rays) 

Dental radiographs, also known as dental X-rays, are important diagnostic tools in pediatric dentistry.  Dental radiographs allow Dr. Day to see and treat problems like childhood cavities, tooth decay, orthodontic misalignment, bone injuries, and bone diseases.  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.  Radiographs emit only tiny amounts of radiation and are safe to use on an occasional basis.

What are dental X-rays used for?

Some of the main purposes of X-rays are:

  • 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?

Each child is different.  Children with a higher-than-average risk of tooth decay may need X-rays twice a year to monitor changes in their teeth.  Likewise, children who are at high risk for orthodontic problems may also need sets of X-rays taken more frequently for monitoring purposes.

Children who are 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 Dr. Day 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 your child has experienced oral trauma or injury, Dr. Day may want to X-ray his/her mouth immediately.

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

Though dental radiographs are perfectly safe for use on children, Dr. Day and his team take several precautions.  First, your child will be covered in a lead apron to protect the body from unnecessary exposure.  Second, Dr. Day and his team will use shields to protect the parts of the face that are not being X-rayed.  Finally, Dr. Day and his team 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 our office at 517-393-8500.

Day Family Dental

Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI

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