Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Digital X-Rays

Dental radiographs, or dental x-rays, are a valuable tool in helping diagnose and monitor oral diseases in infants, children and adolescents. They help evaluate trauma to the dentition, as well as monitor growth and development of your child.

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we adhere to the standards set by the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Each child is treated as an individual at Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, and timing of your child’s initial radiographic examination is based upon each child’s individual circumstances.

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we take every precaution when treating your kids with dental x-rays. With the use digital x-rays your child is exposure is reduced by 70% vs. a traditional film radiograph.

In our office, every effort is made to minimize the your child’s radiation exposure by applying good radiological practices (using protective aprons and thyroid collars) and by following the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle.

When to Take Digital X-Rays

We determine the need for radiographs based upon each child’s individual need.

Once the teeth begin to touch, it is difficult to diagnose dental decay without dental x-rays. This is another reason why flossing is so important once the teeth begin to touch, as cavities can form very quickly in baby teeth.

Depending on your child’s risk for cavities, x-rays are taken every 12-18 months until the permanent teeth erupt. The outer shell, or enamel, of baby teeth is thinner than permanent teeth, making the progression of cavities quicker in these teeth and making the use of x-rays even more important. This is because a cavity on a primary tooth can progress in less than 1 year.

How Much Radiation is in an Digital X-Ray?

Radiation is measured in milliSievert (mSv). On average, we receive about 6.25mSv each year. Half of which is from natural background radiation and the other half is man-made.

A single digital X-ray is .0001mSV which is equivalent to .1% of an annual radiation dosage. In comparison a 3 hour plane ride is .3mSV, a chest X-ray is anywhere from 10-40 msV and a daily exposure is about 1mSv.

Dr. Ross Levine explains digital x-rays in the video below: