Ask Dr. Geri: Safety of Dental X-Rays

ASK DR. GERI

I’m worried that my child will get too much radiation.  Are dental x-rays safe and really necessary for children?

Dental x-rays are necessary to diagnose cavities between teeth that are not detectable with visual examination.  They are used to evaluate the severity of decay, and assess the health of the roots and supporting structures of the teeth.  In children, x-rays may also be used to evaluate the development and position of the permanent teeth, and to rule out any potential oral disease.

Fortunately, dental x-rays are much lower in radiation in comparison to most medical x-rays.  As you can see from the chart below, a single dental x-ray is the equivalent of eating two bananas, and the newer digital radiographs emit even lower radiation.  In fact, our office uses a new technology that is so low in radiation that the technician taking the radiographs actually stays in the room with the patient.

The frequency of x-rays recommended may vary depending on the patients’ age and dental history.  Children who have a history of tooth decay may require more frequent radiographs than those with no history.

Currently, dental disease in children is more common than asthma and hay fever, so the earlier that you diagnose and treat decay, the better.  If left untreated, dental decay can lead to pain and infection.

Dental x-rays are very important for proper diagnosis and treatment.  The risks associated with undiagnosed and untreated dental disease far outweigh those associated with dental x-rays.

If you would like to discuss how to the safety of dental x-rays, please contact us:

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman DDS

75 Crystal Run Road, Middletown, NY 10940

(845) 458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com

Ask Dr. Geri: Dental Sealant Safety

ASK DR. GERI

“Do dental sealants contain BPAs?  Are they safe for my child?”

Dental sealants are effective in preventing cavities on the biting surfaces of primary and permanent molars in children and adolescents.  According to the ADA (American Dental Association), sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.

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Although dental materials used to treat and prevent tooth decay can contribute to very low level BPA exposure for a few hours after placement, based on current evidence, there is no health concern about this exposure.

In order to reduce the amount of trace levels of BPA immediately after sealant placement, dentists can remove the surface layer of the sealants with pumice (a mild abrasive).

As you can see from the chart below, the level of BPA exposure is minimal compared to many things in our daily lives.

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Overall, the benefits of sealants to prevent cavities far outweigh any associated risks.  Even though dental sealants are safe, if parents still have concerns, they can request BPA-free material when taking their child to the dentist.

 

If you would like to discuss how to the benefits and safety of dental sealants, please contact us:

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman DDS

75 Crystal Run Road, Middletown, NY 10940

(845) 458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com