If limiting your child's exposure to x-rays is important to you then you will be glad to hear that we share your concerns about his or her exposure to radiation, especially at a young age.
We support the Image Gently philosophies regarding radiology practices for children.
From the Image Gently website:
“The mission of the Image Gently Alliance is, through advocacy, to improve safe and effective imaging care of children worldwide. When using radiography during pediatric dental procedures remember:
- Select x-rays for individual’s needs, not merely as a routine
- Use the fastest image receptor possible: E- or F-speed film or digital sensors
- Collimate beam to area of interest
- Always use thyroid collars
- Child-size the exposure time
We do not routinely take x-rays on children unless there is a very specific reason to do so. We do usually take x-rays when back teeth are very close together since we are not able to see between the teeth when they are tight and many kids get cavities between their molars. By the time a cavity is visible to the eye, it has already become more extensive under the surface. Baby molars are usually kept until the child is ten, eleven, or twelve years old. By detecting small cavities with x-rays, we are frequently able to implement strategies to keep them from needing treatment and from progressing.
If there is good spacing of the teeth, we will likely not need to take any x-rays. We also do not usually find it necessary to take x-rays of front teeth since front teeth are typically spaced and less likely to develop decay.
What are the advantages of digital X-rays?
- Digital radiography reduces exposure to radiation by up to 80 percent compared with traditional radiographs.
- We are able to magnify and enhance images to get a better image.
- The image is available immediately, saving time and the possible need to retake more images.
- We are able to email the images to colleagues if your child needs referral to another dentist, or to you if you would like a copy for your own records.
- It's better for the environment since there are no harmful chemicals used to process the images.