There is very little risk in dental x-rays, which we use as an essential diagnostic tool. Dental x-rays are vital for identifying cavities and erupting teeth as well as for diagnosing the effects of trauma and planning orthodontic treatment.
There are two type of xrays we utilize:
Bitewing xray - Most cavities on baby teeth are actually found in between teeth which cannot be seen by looking directly in the mouth during a clinical exam. Thus, in order to definitely diagnose cavities for your child, bitewing xrays are required when their baby teeth begin to touch. Your child's past experience with cavities on top of how well they are taking care of their oral hygiene helps us determine how frequent we recommend that these xrays are taken. We typically recommend that these xrays be taken every 1-2 years.
Panoramic Xray - These xrays allow us to evaluate the growth and development of your child. We use these xrays to determine whether your child is missing permanent teeth, has extra permanent teeth, positioning of wisdom teeth, ruling out any possible pathology such as cysts and other jaw abnormalities as well as making sure all the permanent teeth are coming in properly. The sooner we diagnose problems, the more time we have to plan treatment and the more ideal the results become. We recommend that this xray be taken as soon as the first permanent tooth is visible and we recommend that this xray is repeated every 5-7 years.
We are proud to say that we strictly follow the xray guidelines set out by the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In order to reduce exposure, we use minimum radiation dosages, protective lead aprons with thyroid collors and modern xray equipment. We feel that the risk of undiagnosed and untreated dental problems is far greater than the risk posed by dental x-rays. If you have any further questions regarding xrays, feel free to give our office call or make an appointment to discuss further.