Dental x-rays are an essential part of the complete diagnostic process. They aid in detecting cavities and pathologies that are not always clinically detectable. They also are important in monitoring the growth and development of the permanent teeth and for orthodontic reasons.
Dr. Espinosa is conservative with her prescribing and use of dental radiographs. The risk of getting cavities is a multifactorial process that is individual to each patient and Dr. Espinosa will determine the patient’s risk at the initial and follow-up appointments. Depending on family history, anatomy, diet, hygiene, and clinical observation, a child’s first dental radiographs typically occur between the ages of 3-5.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines recommend radiographs at 6 month to 2 year intervals thereafter depending if the patient is high or low risk for dental cavities.
At our practice we are careful not to overexpose children to radiation. Dr. Espinosa uses digital x-rays which result in less radiation and proper lead aprons with thyroid collars to protect neighboring organs from exposure. The radiation exposure from an adult full mouth radiographic series with traditional x-ray film is comparable to the radiation exposure obtained from an airplane flight from San Francisco to New York. In a pediatric dental practice with digital x-rays it would take at least a couple of years for a high cavity risk pediatric patient to have the same amount of exposure.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding dental radiography, don’t hesitate to ask!