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The Safety of Dental X-Rays

Are you worried about your child’s exposure to radiation during dental X-rays? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has deemed dental X-rays safe for children if your dental provider follows appropriate protocol.

Dental X-rays are extremely useful diagnostic tools that can predict whether there’s enough room in your child’s mouth for secondary teeth, make sure your child’s tooth losing timeline is on track to make room for permanent ones, monitor wisdom teeth and their development, see hidden decay, and identify abnormalities like cysts or tumors.

There are several types of dental X-rays that serve a variety of purposes and reveal what we cannot see through a physical exam alone. They include:

  • Bitewing X-rays – these can reveal cavities or decay between teeth, and whether fillings are deteriorating and may need repair.
  • Periapical – these show the entirety of your child’s tooth from crown to root.
  • Occlusal – these show bite patterns and how the teeth fit together.
  • Panoramic – these can show where teeth are in the eruption process, impacted teeth or tumors.

The levels of radiation in dental X-rays are low as is any incidence of harmful side effects. There are new guidelines recently set forth by the Food and Drug Administration that we follow at Pediatric Dental Associates, which recommend “medical X-ray imaging exams be optimized to use the lowest radiation dose as needed.”

Shielding the abdomen and thyroid is one of the processes we follow to ensure those areas are protected. So, when we ask your child to wear a heavy apron before their X-ray, we are trying to minimize exposure! Those aprons are filled with lead and will block most of the radiation’s ability to penetrate the body.

Don’t shy away from getting your child the dental X-rays they may need for diagnostic purposes. We usually take X-rays once per year to monitor your child’s development.

Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama is led by top-rated pediatric dentists with locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Medplex-Hoover, Oxford and Pell City. When looking for your child’s dentist, know that we aspire to be the premier provider of pediatric dental services in Alabama. We also provide orthodontics in our Medplex-Hoover and Cullman locations. Beautiful smiles are our specialty!




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