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Are Dental X-Rays Safe for My Children?

Black and white photo of 3 young boys running in a field against a background of trees at Smokey Mountains National Park

When you bring your child in to Bright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, our team may recommend having dental X-rays taken. Whether they’re visiting us for a routine exam or a more in-depth procedure, X-rays can be a beneficial tool that allow our team to get a better look at your child’s teeth and jawbone. Overall, dental X-rays are safe and don’t emit enough radiation to be problematic. However, we know your child’s safety is a top concern for you, so we make sure to take extra precautions if we determine dental X-rays are needed during the appointment.

Why We Use Dental X-Rays

Just like in general medicine, X-rays are an invaluable tool pediatric dentists use to get a closer look at areas of the mouth that we just can’t see with the naked eye. This includes in between teeth, the inner structures of teeth, and the jawbone. Dental X-rays aid pediatric dentists in diagnosing tooth decay, issues with normal tooth eruption, jawbone damage or problems, the state of your teen’s wisdom teeth, and much more. We use them in treatment planning, as well, to prepare for placement of a filling or crown, extraction of a tooth, and orthodontic treatment. Dr. Bright and his team believe in using X-rays responsibly to ensure both your child’s safety and the health of their teeth, and rely on the Guidelines on Radiographs for Children set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Benefits of Digital X-Ray Technology

At Bright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we exclusively use digital radiographs. These require no film or processing time, and the images are sent directly to a computer within seconds for evaluation. One of the biggest draws of digital X-rays is that studies have shown they emit up to 90% less radiation than traditional X-rays. At Bright Smiles, we love the safety and efficiency of digital X-rays, especially since we’re dealing with young patients.

We Minimize Your Child’s Exposure to Radiation

You have likely had dental X-rays taken yourself, so you know that your dentist always uses a lead vest to cover your torso while taking X-rays of your mouth. This easy step in the X-ray process helps your body avoid some of the small amount of radiation that is emitted when an X-ray is taken. Additionally, when it comes to kids, dentists prefer to avoid X-rays unless there appears to be a reason for them. So you won’t see our team taking X-rays during a routine exam unless your child is complaining of a toothache or we see something we want to take a closer look at during the visual exam. By doing this, we minimize their exposure to radiation even further.

We Are Committed to Imaging Excellence & Safety

The American Dental Association has also partnered with over 80 other healthcare organizations in the Image Gently initiative focused on improving the safety and effectiveness of imaging children. The Image Gently Alliance provides free materials to care providers, including information on when and how to image, safety precautions to take, and more.

Your Child’s Safety Is Our Priority!

At Bright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we want you to feel confident in the care we’re providing your child. This includes keeping your child’s safety in mind at all times. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your child’s dental care, we encourage you to let us know. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will do all we can to answer your questions and provide you with peace of mind. Ready to schedule your child’s next dental appointment? Contact us today!

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