A pediatric dentist can help your child get the oral care they need to keep a beautiful smile and a healthy set of teeth. Many parents make the common mistake of thinking pediatric dentistry is not important since children will inevitably lose their baby teeth anyway, but the fact is primary teeth play a large…
Talking to Your Child’s Dentist in Middletown About Dental X-Rays
When a parent goes to their child’s dentist, they are advised to ask the dentist any questions they may have about a procedure or treatment that the child is getting. This rule also applies if the child has to get a dental X-ray, which can be scary to children.
Talking to a child’s dentist in Middletown about dental X-rays
Dental X-rays are beams of energy that pass through the body to make black and white pictures of the child’s teeth and bones. When the X-ray is taken, the child has to sit still for a couple of seconds. Sometimes, the parent may be asked to help the child sit still while the X-ray is being taken. Some dentists take X-ray pictures using films that are placed in the mouth. The films are then processed to make the picture. Other dentists use plastic sensors directly connected to a computer using a wire that allows the parent to instantly see the picture.
If a dentist decides that a child needs to get X-rays, the parent should ask the child’s dentist questions. That will help them let the child know what to expect and put their mind at ease. Some of the questions that parents should ask their child’s dentist include what types of dental X-rays are there and if radiation is dangerous for the child.
The different types of dental X-rays
Bitewing, which are plastic sensors that the child will be asked to bite down on with the back teeth so the dentist can get a better look behind the child’s teeth to check for cavities.
The periapical X-rays that are used to look at the roots of front or back teeth. Each X-ray can only look at two or three teeth.
The panoramic X-ray is taken by a machine that rotates around the outside of the head to take the picture. The pictures taken by the machine can show all the teeth in the mouth and the jawbone.
Cone-beam CT is similar to the medical CT scan but uses fewer X-rays. Even though the cone-beam CT uses fewer X-rays than the medical CT scan, it uses more X-rays than the bitewing, periapical or panoramic X-rays. The cone-beam CT also helps to make 3D pictures. However, it is not used as frequently as the other X-rays.
Will the radiation in X-rays put my child at risk?
There is a very little risk from a single X-ray. However, some studies have shown a small increase in the risk of cancer even at low levels of radiation exposure, particularly in children.
Is it possible to reduce the amount of radiation my child is exposed to?
Due to the fact that X-rays may slightly increase the risk of cancer, the child’s dentist will try to make sure the child is exposed to the lowest amount of radiation possible during an X-ray by doing any of the following:
- X-ray based specifically on the child’s needs instead of routine tests.
- Using up-to-date equipment and techniques
- Using thyroid collars to protect the thyroid gland from radiation and protective shields as needed for other parts of the body.
A child’s dentist will want to perform X-rays to help improve the child’s oral health and detect signs of cavity and tooth decay. If you are a parent and your child’s dentist wants to perform an X-ray, make sure that you talk to the dentist about any concerns you have and to ensure that your child is protected from radiation.
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