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Does my child really need dental X-rays?

Pediatric dentists occasionally get requests from parents to forgo dental X-rays, as parents have concerns about radiation exposure. Rest assured, the radiation exposure from standard digital dental X-rays is minimal — in fact, it’s less than 80% compared to traditional film. And the benefits of using this standard tool far outweigh the small risks.

As dentists, we can visually see decay on chewing surfaces and exposed surfaces, but without X-rays we can’t rule out decay in between the teeth. In children, 70% of cavities form between the teeth.

X-rays also allow us to see under the gumline, which reveals the position of hidden permanent teeth. This is helpful in advising parents on future orthodontic needs. Also, having X-rays on file over time allows us to monitor any changes.

We understand the desire to make the best choices for our children and their health. If you have any concerns about X-rays, have a conversation with your pediatric dentist. We want what’s best for children, too.


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1611 J street Springfield, OR


Dr. Erin Estep is a board-certified pediatric dentist who owns Treehouse Kids Dentist in Springfield. She and her staff are committed to making sure your child has an amazing, safe, memorable dental experience.


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