Dental radiographs or x-rays are necessary for your child in receiving the highest standard of dental care. At Little Critter, we limit radiation exposure for children by using lead aprons with thyroid collars and digital radiography, which emits 80% less radiation than traditional x-ray machines. Cavities, missing or extra teeth, and pathology/diseases can go undetected without the use of dental radiographs. With digital x-rays, your child’s images appear instantaneously on our computer, giving us a convenient image to analyze and refer to throughout the dental visit. One dental radiograph has 0.005 mSv of radiation, while a flight from NY to LA has 0.04 mSv.
Dr. Keta usually recommends a first set of x-rays (4 images) when your child is four years old to check for cavities between teeth and development. After the first x-rays, low cavity risk patients take x-rays (2 images) every year and a half, while high cavity risk patients take x-rays every six months to one year (2 images). A panoramic x-ray is recommended to assess tooth and jaw development as well as check for bony pathology at 6-8 years old. This x-ray is taken again at 11-13yo for orthodontic needs and at 16-18yo to evaluate wisdom teeth. Our goal is to be as conservative with radiation as possible while upholding the highest standard of care for your children. Detecting a cavity early leads to the best chances of keeping your child’s teeth healthy.