Children’s Dental X-rays—Safer than Ever
A 2012 study from the Yale University School of Medicine that found an association between dental x-rays in children and an increased risk of a particular type of brain tumor received a great deal of publicity in the media and may well have scared many parents. However, media coverage tended to leave out several important factors suggesting that there was less to worry about than first appeared, including the fact that many of the patients with brain tumors were older people who had undergone dental x-rays decades ago, when the amount of radiation exposure was significantly higher than it is today.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has issued guidelines on dental x-rays for infants, children and adolescents. These guidelines, which were officially reviewed at the time of the 2012 study, note that x-rays are a valuable tool for diagnosing oral diseases, and monitoring dentofacial development and the progress of therapy. Since every patient is unique, we base decisions about the need for dental x-rays on each child’s individual circumstances.
We use x-rays when we expect that the results will have an impact on patient care. We weigh the benefits of obtaining radiographs against any risks to your child from radiation exposure. The use of lead aprons, thyroid collars and high-speed film minimize your child’s exposure to radiation. Our equipment at KiDDS Dental and procedures conform to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) standard for radiation exposure.
Children may require x-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing, and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than are those of adults. Certain oral conditions cannot be diagnosed except through the use of x-rays. Some of these conditions, if left untreated, can be a much greater health threat than the radiation from dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool that can help preserve your child’s health.
If you have further questions regarding dental x-rays, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.