Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

The Benefits of Digital Radiography for Pediatric Dental Patients

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published May 20, 2021

Many parents are understandably concerned about the use of x-ray to diagnose their child’s health. Especially when it comes to getting diagnostic images of delicate teeth, parents may wonder how safe dental x-rays truly are. At the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa, we believe it is in our patients’ best interest to minimize the amount of x-ray radiation little mouths are exposed to. That is why our team utilizes digital radiography in place of traditional dental x-rays. Beyond being much safer, pediatric digital radiography carries a number of benefits.

Contribution to Patient Safety & Radiation Exposure Reduction

While we are naturally exposed to radiation in the environment, caring for patients means reducing any added exposure when necessary. Digital radiography does just that, with the impact of exposing a person to around 75% less radiation. Even though this is significantly safer than a traditional x-ray, the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa also uses further safeguards such as lead aprons. 

Apart from reduced radiation exposure, the oral plates inserted into your child’s mouth for imaging are much safer and more comfortable than conventional x-ray plates. Rather than rigid cardboard-like material, the digital plates are small and lack the uncomfortable physical features of the alternative.

Digital Imaging Helps Kids Get Comfortable With Dental Exams

Fear of the dentist is an unfortunate shared sentiment among children. At our clinic, we make it a goal to work with your child in a way that allows them to understand and feel a sense of empowerment when it comes to their health. With quick and easy dental imaging provided through digital radiography, many kids are satisfied to see the photos of their mouth and teeth after the photo is taken. With the ability to enhance the image and add contrast and color to it, kids are typically even more amused and enthusiastic about their teeth!

Engaging in the experience of dental x-rays can play a small role in our patients learning to take charge of their own health, a valuable trait to carry well into adulthood.

Dental Imaging Preservation & Record-Keeping

Traditional x-rays don’t keep well over long periods of time due to the fact that they are developed from film. With digital radiography, your dentist is able to keep accurate and high-quality records/images of your dental health history year after year. This is not only more convenient, but gives your provider the ability to maintain a clear scope and record of your oral health history. With clear records, your provider can make specific and informed care recommendations based on your full history rather than just your most recent set of images.

Beyond dental health, having digital files of x-ray images allows your provider to easily share records with other members of your child’s healthcare team if needed.

Digital Imaging Saves Time in Dental Emergencies

When dental emergencies happen, time is of the essence in determining whether or not a tooth may be saved or have to be replaced. Especially when a tooth falls out, it is important for the missing tooth to be reattached within specific time constraints before the tooth becomes unrecoverable.

The importance of a high-quality diagnostic image in the face of a dental emergency cannot be underestimated. With digital radiography, our team is able to achieve that diagnosis in a short amount of time, without having to wait for film to develop. Even if a second picture is needed to obtain a different angle or correct for a child’s movement, it takes only moments to capture the second take. Ultimately, this saves time for the dentist to make necessary repairs to the teeth before it is too late. 

Des Moines Area Pediatric Dentist with Digital X-Rays

If reducing your child’s exposure to x-ray radiation is a priority, schedule an appointment at the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa! Our offices in both Ankeny and West Des Moines are open to take new patients. We look forward to working with you and your child as they develop strong teeth and healthy oral habits!