How often should a child have dental X-ray films?

Since every child is unique, the need for dental X-ray films varies from child to child. Films are taken only after reviewing your child’s medical

and dental histories and performing a clinical information that a visual examination cannot. In general, children need x-rays more often than adults.

adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly. They are more susceptible than adults to tooth decay. For children with a high risk of tooth decay, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends x-ray examinations every six months to detect cavities developing between the teeth. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require x-rays less frequently


There are many benefits to using digital dental x-ray images and are safe

Only a small electronic sensor is needed to capture the x-ray image.

The image from the sensor is sent directly to a computer and can be viewed right away. The dental office can print, copy or e mail your digital x-ray images.

Digital x-ray images can be enlarged or can be fixed without having to make another x-ray exposure.

Digital x-ray images may require less radiation than film images. They represent far smaller risk than undetected and untreated dental problems.

Digital x-rays are environmentally friendly as they do not require film and chemicals needed to develop the film.

Why should x-ray films be taken if my child has never had a cavity?

x-ray films detect much more than cavities. For example, x-rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. x-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.

Will x-ray films be taken routinely?

No. x-ray films are recommended only when necessary to evaluate and monitor your child’s oral health. The frequency of x-ray films is determined by your child’s individual needs. If your child’s previous dentist obtained x-ray films, request copies be sent to your new pediatric dentist to help reduce radiation exposure.

What safeguards are used to protect my child from x-ray exposure?

Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film, digital x-rays, and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.