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Are dental x-rays safe for my child?

The most common question we get from parents is: “are dental x-rays safe?” The short is answer is “Yes, dental x-rays are safe and are a vital part of your oral health”.

A dentist needs x-rays in order to be able to accurately diagnose and provide treatment to any dental problems before they become serious and start causing pain.

A dentist wants to provide the best care possible to their patients and a visual examination will not be able to tell them everything that they need to know regarding the health of a tooth. The x-rays will be able to determine if there are no cavities, growth issues, missing teeth etc… to be able to give your dentist the whole picture

How much radiation is in a dental x-ray?

The amount of radiation you are exposed to is very minimal. Did you know that there are multiple sources of radiation that you can be exposed to on a daily basis which have higher levels compared to a dental x-ray.

What type of conditions require dental x-rays?

  • Oral infections. Cavities, oral infections are not infections to be taken lightly. A dentist is better equipped to identify an oral infection by the use of an x-ray before it becomes a serious problem.
  • Oral injury. If a child has had an injury to the mouth by falling, sports etc… a dentist uses the x-ray to track their healing process and make sure there has been no injury to the tooth and/or root.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Tumors or growth
  • Missing teeth
  • Orthodontic treatment. A dentist uses an x-ray to determine if orthodontic treatment is recommended for your child.

Different types of x-rays

  • Periapical: Shows a tooth from the crown to the root. It helps the doctor to examine from 1 to 2 teeth to check for cavities, root issues and any other oral health issues around the jaw.
  • Bitewing: Used to examine the crowns of the lower and upper back teeth, it is used to identify cavities between the teeth.
  • Occlusals: track the development and placement of a section or entire arch of teeth in the upper or lower front jaw.
  • Panoramic: Shows the entirety of the mouth and is used to track a child’s permanent teeth development.


Here is some more useful information from ADA – Mouth Healthy.




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