Are Digital X-Rays Safer for Your Child?

Dental x-rays are a very important piece of dentistry. They are a diagnostic tool to help us detect and pinpoint problem areas so we can further analyze them and create an accurate treatment plan.

But are dental x-rays safe? Are digital x-rays safe for kids and teens? How are digital x-rays different than the x-rays back in the day?

We’ll talk about these questions (and more), so join us!


Why do we use digital x-rays?

smiling-kid-squareWe love staying ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating the latest dental technology. Doing so helps us offer the best dental experience and the latest dental procedures to our patients.

That’s why we use digital x-rays in our office—not the old, film x-rays used a long time ago. Now, the images are saved electronically and we can view them together at your appointment by looking at the computer screen.

That means all of your x-rays are kept in digital format on our computers so we can monitor your oral health quickly and efficiently. Digital x-rays are an incredible, valuable tool we use at our offices every day.

Our dentists will most likely take a few types of digital x-rays so we can get the overall picture of your kid’s dental health. Different types of x-rays include:

  • Bitewings — These are very common digital x-rays that help dentists detect cavities between the back teeth.
  • Periapicals — The roots of the back or front teeth can be shown in this type of x-ray.
  • Panoramic x-ray — The entire jaw area and all of the teeth are shown in a panoramic x-ray.
  • Cone Beam CT — This x-ray is taken much less frequently than the other types of x-rays. It produces three-dimensional (3D) pictures.

(source: The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging)


So just how safe are digital dental x-rays for my kids?

dental-xrays-square-2We want you to know that we are very careful when it comes to taking x-rays on your kids. We minimize the exposure of radiation as much as possible.

In fact, digital x-rays use 80% to 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. That means the radiation exposure is “extremely small,” and that digital dental x-rays “represent a far smaller risk than undetected and untreated dental problems” (source: from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ).

  • We want to catch dental problems early on rather than later down the road before they turn into huge (more costly, more invasive) issues.
  • Digital x-rays are the preferred option by our pediatric dentists and they are safe.
  • We make sure your kids are as safe as possible.You want your kids to be protected and safe. Well, good news—we want them to be safe and protected, too.

How do we do that?

During the x-ray process, we place a lead body apron and a thyroid collar (to protect the thyroid gland) on top of your child’s body and neck before we take the x-ray. This helps protect them against radiation exposure.
Digital x-rays are exceptional at restricting the x-ray beam only to the specific area of interest (instead of exposing other areas of the body or head). We only take x-rays on the areas we need to.

All in all, taking digital dental x-rays is a quick, easy, and safe process that helps tremendously in your child’s treatment plan. And digital x-rays offer so many benefits.


Benefits of digital dental x-rays

teen-braces-square

  • Digital x-rays use less radiation than traditional x-rays. They are safe for kids, teens, and adults.
  • We need x-rays to show us areas of the mouth that we cannot see with the naked eye. Such aspects include jaw
  • formation, tooth decay, cracks, fissures, and plaque buildup. This allows us to make a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your child.

  • X-rays provide our dentists with a baseline so we can identify and compare future dental problems (source: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x/x-rays).
  • We capture high-quality pictures that are viewed immediately on the computer screen. We can enlarge the image, if necessary, as well as manipulate other aspects (color, brightness, contrast, etc).
  • Digital x-rays are fast! You don’t have to sit in the dentist’s chair for a long period of time while we take the x-rays AND we don’t have to wait long to view them on the computer (the images show up on the screen almost immediately).
  • We don’t have to worry about hazardous waste disposal like we did with traditional film x-rays. Everything is electronic!

Ready for your dental appointment? Call us!

If you are ready to schedule your child’s teeth cleaning appointment or if your child needs other dental work done, call Chester County Dentistry for Kids in West Chester, Lionville, or Kennett Square.

We look forward to meeting you and your family! Call us today!


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Chester County Dentistry for Children provides specialized, comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents in a fun, stress-free environment that focuses on prevention and education. Our goal is to help your child be healthy and enter adulthood free of dental diseases and dental fears – with good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.

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