What are the different types of dental X-rays?
Bitewings-the X-ray plastic sensor has a little tab in the middle that the patient bites on with their back teeth to detect decay.
Periapicals (PA)-these X-ray pictures are used to look at the roots of teeth. Each periapical X-ray picture can only look at two or three teeth.
Panoramic X-ray-a machine that rotates around the outside of the head takes this picture. It can show all the jaw bones and teeth.
How much radiation is used in dental X-rays?
Days of Background Radiation
Airline Passenger (4 hour flight)
2 Dental Bitewing X-rays
1 Dental Panoramic X-ray
1 Head CT
How can we reduce the radiation to my child?
The amount of radiation from one dental X-ray picture is very small. Still, it is important to keep the radiation amount as low as possible.
- X-ray pictures are based specifically on your child’s needs, not merely as a routine test
- Up to date digital equipment and techniques
- Thyroid collars and lead aprons are used to shield and protect your child
- Child size exposure times
Declining dental X-rays based on unfounded fears regarding radiation exposure removes an important diagnostic tool from a dentist’s repertoire. X-rays are an essential diagnostic tool with dentists relying on them for:
- exposing hidden dental decay,
- revealing dental abscesses, cysts and tumors,
- showing impacted or extra teeth,
- determining the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals,
- locating tarter build-up,
- finding foreign bodies within the gum or bone, and
- identifying bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease and whether enough bone for dental implant placements
Who should I talk to if I still have concerns about dental X-rays for my child?
If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to share them with the Dentist or Dental Technician.