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X-Rays, Scans, Radiation, and Kids

What Parents Need to Know Before the Doctor or Dentist Orders a Scan

What Parents Can Do continued...

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids and teens get bitewing X-rays every six to 12 months if they have cavities. Those who don't have cavities can go a year or two between scans.

Cone-beam CTs are mainly used by oral surgeons and orthodontists. They deliver doses of radiation that are far higher than regular dental X-rays, but lower than the doses patients get from medical CTs, says Joel Berg, DDS, dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry and president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Berg says cone-beam CTs are best used in cases where there's been trauma to the jaw or to help dentists correctly position implants. For routine check-ups, an ordinary X-ray may be all that's needed, with less radiation exposure.

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Reviewed on August 16, 2012

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