What Is the Point of Dental X-rays?

Apr 21, 2022

It’s almost guaranteed that you’ve heard about the dangers of radiation at some point in your life. Given the impact it can have on health, you may feel a little concerned about exposing your child to it every six months when they go in for a regular dental exam and cleaning and get x-rayed. It’s understandable, given how precious and vulnerable our children are. You may even be wondering what the point of dental x-rays are.

Detecting cavity decay

Dentists get up close and personal with teeth all the time. Those bright lights they use make it easier to detect decay, but it can be hard to spot with your eyes alone. Dental x-rays, however, can help. Decay that is just beginning can still show up on an x-ray. They can also make it easier to identify small areas of decay that may be emerging between the teeth. It’s also the best way to spot a cavity that is developing beneath fillings.

Keeping an Eye on Space

Space is a big deal when it comes to the health of your child’s teeth. When there is enough space for all the teeth, they tend to be healthier. This is in part because they are easier to clean. If there isn’t enough space, the teeth tend to get crowded. This makes them more difficult to clean and more prone to decay. As a result, it’s important for your dentist to keep an eye on the space available in the mouth to ensure that there is enough room for any teeth that may be growing in. Dental x-rays provide unparalleled perspective in this regard.

Determining Tooth Positioning

Part of what makes it so much easier for dental x-rays to show available space is that they can show your dentist where the teeth are in relation to one another, even if they haven’t actually come in yet. X-rays allow the dentist to see through gum tissue and identify where the teeth are at at any given point. This also allows your dentist to see how they are oriented or if they are impacted, as well as keeping an eye on the development of the wisdom teeth. All of that provides your dentist with valuable information that allows them to offer your child the best treatment they can.

Dental x-rays can be an invaluable tool for dentists like Dr. Emily Pham, Dr. Bob Traficante, and Dr. Caroline Shaw. They provide a different perspective on the health and positioning of your child’s teeth than they can get from just looking at your child’s mouth with their eyes. Still concerned about radiation from the x-rays? Don’t be too alarmed. The amount of radiation your child is exposed to as a result of dental x-rays is so minimal that it’s a mere 0.5% of the amount that your child is exposed to over the course of a year just by living a normal life. No need to sweat it.

Regular dentist appointments are an essential part of protecting the health of your child’s teeth. Click here to schedule their next appointment at Stellar Kids Dentistry today!