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Are Dental X-Rays Safe for my Child?

child with xrays

Dental X-rays can be important for your child’s oral health, but you may also have concerns about the safety of these screenings.

What are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays utilize radiation to take pictures of teeth, gums, and bones. X-rays can be intraoral or extraoral. Intraoral X-rays, which are more common, give a detailed view of the inside of the mouth, including teeth, bones, and supporting tissues. Extraoral X-rays are taken outside of the mouth.

What is the dentist looking for when doing X-rays?

X-rays allows your child’s dentist to do a more thorough examination than he or she can achieve through a visual inspection.

They can be used to check the following, among other conditions:

  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Cavities, especially those between the teeth
  • Injuries to one or more teeth after a trauma
  • Impact of teeth that haven’t yet erupted
  • Jawbone
  • Oral swelling
  • Bone loss or gum disease

What are the different types of dental X-rays?

There are many types of dental X-rays, and your dentist will use the type that will yield the information he or she is looking for:

  • Bitewing: shows crowns of upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth to spot hard-to-see cavities
  • Periapical: shows one or two teeth from the crown to the root
  • Panoramic: shows whole mouth, including emerging teeth
  • Occlusal: shows entire top or bottom arch of teeth as well as how they fit together
  • Orthodontic: shows side of your child’s head as well as jaw and teeth
  • Cone Beam Computerized Tomography: provides a 3-D view to help check the spacing and development of your child’s teeth

Why are dental X-rays important for children?

Dental X-rays can allow your child’s dentist to see far beyond what a visual examination can reveal. They can be especially useful if your dentist sees signs of cavities, decay, poor health, or crowding of the teeth.

Are dental X-rays dangerous for children?

Radiation exposure has been linked to an increased cancer risk, but it’s the cumulative risk over a lifetime that matters. Your child can’t get it from one X-ray. X-rays can yield valuable information, so they may sometimes be important for maintaining your child’s oral health. However, exposure to X-rays should be minimized when possible. They should be performed for good reasons, but not necessarily as a matter of routine.

If your child needs routine dental care or if you have questions about the safety of X-rays, contact Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC today. We use digital imaging to process dental X-rays, and they require less radiation than convention X-rays. Your child’s exposure to radiation is greatly reduced, and results are immediate. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.

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Due to the current state, Park View Pediatric Dentistry is temporarily closed until further notice. If you have any upcoming appointments that were scheduled, we will be contacting you to reschedule once we have a better understanding as to when we can resume normal business hours.

If any dental concerns/questions/emergencies, Dr. Rima is available. Please email at Phone and FaceTime consults are available as well.

Stay safe.

Dr. Rima & Park View Team