Receiving dental X-rays annually is vital for both children and adults. They show the dentist your mouth, bones, and tissue on a much different level that isn’t visible to the naked eye. They can show certain diseases and issues and catch them before they progress. Following is more information on the importance of X-rays and what they can show your child’s dentist.
Types of X-Rays
There are a few different types of X-rays your child may receive at their yearly appointments. Different X-rays will show different types of issues to the dentist. The first type are intraoral ones, which are ones taken on the inside of the mouth. There are four types of them.
The first is a bitewing, where the patient bites on a small tab with a camera. This type of X-ray shows above the gum line, bones between the teeth, and can indicate cavities between the teeth.
Occlusal X-rays are taken with a closed jaw and show the alignment of the top and bottom teeth. If there are any abnormalities on the roof or bottom of the mouth, they’ll be evident here. Panoramic X-rays are 2D and show the whole mouth in one picture, including the upper and lower jaws, in addition to structures and tissues surrounding the jaw. Lastly, periapical X-rays show a complete tooth, all the way from the root to the crown.
There are also extraoral X-rays, which are taken on the outside of the mouth and show the skull and jaw. While they can be useful for certain issues, they don’t show nearly as much detail as intraoral ones do.
When Should My Child Have Dental X-Rays?
Your child should have X-rays for the first time when they’re about 2 or 3 years old. This X-ray will simply show pictures of the front of their teeth and will get them accompanied with the X-ray process. Children also have a higher chance of tooth decay due to weaker enamel and less thorough dental habits, so X-rays are ultra important for them.
Issues X-Rays Can Detect
As discussed, X-rays are vital because they can give the dentist insight into potential issues that they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. They are especially useful in children because they show how much space a child has in their mouth for growing teeth, if their wisdom teeth are growing in, if they have alignment problems, if there’s any decay developing on or in teeth, or if any teeth are impacted.
Children will not only receive x-rays at yearly check-ups, but they will also receive them during orthodontic consultations to give the orthodontist an idea of what kind of alignment issues need to be addressed. X-rays can also show the dentist if there are issues with the bone structure, previous fillings, or if there are any growths such as abscesses, cysts, or even tumors.
Schedule Your Family’s Next Dental Appointment
Children need a complete check-up, including cleanings and x-rays, twice yearly to maintain their oral health. Our pediatric dentists at Rio Dental & Orthodontics love working with children and will always make sure your little one feels safe, comfortable, and taken care of. To schedule their next dental or orthodontist appointment, give one of our four Texas dental offices a call today!