X-rays are a useful tool that can help dentists spot signs of tooth decay so that it can be treated before it gets worse.
X-rays use ionizing radiation in small doses that can potentially cause longterm cumulative damage. It is therefore best to use x-rays only when needed, especially in children, who are more susceptible to damage from radiation.
Before deciding to take x-rays, a dentist should examine your child’s teeth for signs of decay and discuss your child’s nutrition, oral hygiene, and fluoride use. If your dentist has reason to suspect that your child is at risk for tooth decay, x-rays may be in order.
Dentists use several types of x-rays to make a diagnosis. Bitewing x-rays show both upper and lower teeth in the same film and show molars from the crown to the level of the bone.
Bitewings can help a dentist spot decay between teeth and changes in bone that are the result of gum disease.
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