Dental x rays provide a way for dentists to look into spaces in the mouth that are not normally viewable using an oral exam. A parent might be concerned about a child dental x ray. This article is meant to educate about the safety of dental x rays for children and why they are needed for dental care.
Reasons why dental x rays are needed
Dental x rays are essential for dentists to provide quality care to teeth and gums. These x rays allow dentists to diagnose any oral diseases as well as provide preventive advice about any potential oral issues even before they become serious.
Dental x rays would be needed because some parts of the mouth cannot be examined by the naked eye. Dentists would use these x rays as a guide to monitor an existing oral disease that is being treated, it can be used to track the progress of any treatment that is being administered and it can also be used to prevent any oral issues from forming.
Are x rays safe?
It would be understandable that parents might be worried about what might go on in a child dental x ray. However, x rays nowadays are much safer than they were before. Most dental clinics have replaced the film-type x ray machines with newer and more modern radiographs that emit much less radiation than the machines of the past. These new digital x ray machines would emit 80% less radiation than the film version.
However, even if these x rays would be much safer than the machines of the past, dentists would still be cautious about child dental x rays. Children would be much more radiosensitive than adults, so x rays done on children would only be done if necessary. When they need to be performed, they would be on the lowest setting that could achieve the best possible result while delivering the least amount of radiation. There would only be a very slight risk because the settings of the machine would be lowered.
Are they necessary?
Your dentist can help you weigh the pros and cons of having a child dental x ray. Although there would be a very slight risk involved, the benefits of the x ray would outweigh the risk. If the dental x ray is not performed on your child, the dentist would have no way to spot any potential problems.
If these problems go undetected, they can potentially cause more serious diseases that will not only be restricted to the mouth. They say that oral health is a window to overall health. This is true because if oral diseases go undiagnosed and untreated, they may be able to cause diseases that would affect other parts of the body like the heart, lungs and even the brain.
Talk to your child’s dentist
If you have any qualms about having your child undergo a dental x ray, it would be a good idea to talk to your dentist. Child dental x rays are a necessary evil. They carry some risk but then the long-term benefits would be much more substantial than those risks. Your child’s dentist will be able to discuss these risks with you, and also the benefits of early diagnoses of any oral diseases.
Your dentist can also discuss the procedure of the x ray with you, to make you more comfortable about having your child undergo the x ray. They will discuss the minimal risk your child faces as well as the precautions that they are going to do to reduce that risk.