The Importance of Radiographs in Pediatric Dentistry

Radiographs or simply put “x-rays”, are part of pediatric dentistry and help our dental providers to make clinical decisions concerning appropriate selection of diagnosis in child’s evaluation. It is considered an integral part of oral evaluation of infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs.

At Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the best possible dental care to our patients, however visual examination doesn’t always tell us everything we need to know. Thanks to dental x-rays, radiographs are valuable aids for dentist. They are used to diagnose and monitor oral diseases, evaluate dentoalveolar trauma, as well as monitor dentofacial development and the progress of therapy. Although no dental exam is considered complete without reviewing xrays images, the radiographs provide the following functions:

Valuable Diagnostic Tool. X-rays give our dentist the ability to see between and inside your children’s teeth. They can also view the tip of your child’s roots and bone underneath their hums – places not normally visible to the naked eye. X-rays are also used to check for cavities and evaluate the extent of decay. And because some x-rays show the root of the tooth, the presence of any cysts, abscesses, and other masses can be diagnosed. Congenitally missing or impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth are often identified this ways.

How Often Are X-rays Needed? Because each child is unique, the need for dental radiographs can be determined only after consideration of the patient’s medical and dental histories, completion of a thorough clinical examination, and assessment of the patient’s vulnerability to environmental factors that affect oral health. Our dentist take x-rays only when needed, which are taken only when there is an expectation that the diagnostic yield will affect patient care. In other words, it is given consideration to the relative risks and benefits of the various treatment options of the patient.

Dental X-rays Safety. Because X-ray machines and other sources of dental radiographs are designed to minimize radiation, these processes are safe and your children exposure is negligible. Our office in fact uses digital x-rays, which further reduces radiation exposure. Brushing twice a days with a fluoride toothpastes, and flossing regularly are important home care practices that safeguard your child’s dental health. Dental checkups and routine x-rays are also necessary for a healthy mouth to ensure that children keep their teeth picture perfect for a lifetime.

Panoramic Dental X-ray. Panoramic dental x-rays uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to capture the entire mouth in one image. It is commonly performed by dentist are oral surgeons and orthodontists in everyday practice and may used to plan treatment for braces, extractions and other dental procedures and diagnoses purposes.