The Importance of Dental X-Rays

Dental X-rays detect much more than cavities and are considered a necessary component of a thorough dental examination. Many diseases of the mouth cannot be seen with the naked eye. If X-rays are not used, small cavities between the teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors and other diseases may be impossible to detect until obvious signs and symptoms have developed and the progression of oral disease is quite severe. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, cost and discomfort. Early diagnostic X-rays may even help save your child's life!

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for My Children?

At Derby City Pediatric Dentistry, your child's safety is always our top priority. With the modern techniques and equipment used in the dental offices of today, the amount of radiation received in a routine dental examination is extremely small. Therefore, the risk of harmful effects from dental X-rays is negligible.

A Comparison:

We are exposed to natural background radiation all the time from earth, sun, moon, and stars. It has been estimated that the average person receives about 300 millirems of radiation every year from the natural environment. By comparison, the four bitewing X-rays we recommend most patients have every year deliver 2 millirems of radiation.

How We Limit Your Child's Radiation Exposure:

There are many precautions we follow to help limit your radiation exposure:

  • A lead shield, impenetrable by X-rays, covers your child's body.
  • Digital radiographs are used so that the picture can be exposed to the smallest amount of X-ray dosage possible.
  • The X-ray tube is designed to filter out and restrict the size of the X-ray beam.
  • Employees wear radiation monitoring badges to detect radiation exposure. This process can help identify possible leaks in all of the X-ray equipment. Since the beginning of our practice, we have never had a report indicating unacceptable radiation levels!
  • The KY Department of Radiation Protection tests our X-ray equipment annually to assure safety to staff and patients.
  • Routine, diagnostic bite-wing X-rays are taken of the back molars only, where the possibility of decay between the teeth is more likely.

Problems cannot be treated without first being diagnosed. One of the most valuable diagnostic tool ever developed in medicine is the X-ray machine. By using X-rays carefully and prudently, we are able to offer our patients the excellent care they deserve.

Dear Derby City Pediatric Dentistry Families,
By now you are all aware of the measures being taken statewide to slow the spread of COVID-19. I’m writing to update you with the practice protocols Derby City Pediatric Dentistry will follow in the coming weeks or longer. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we determine the best way to keep our families, our team, and the greater population safe.

For now, Derby City Pediatric Dentistry will be closed from March 17, 2020, until further notice, in an effort to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of this virus. If your child has a scheduled appointment during this time, we will be in touch to get your child rescheduled once we have a better idea of when it’s safe to resume normal operations. We are developing strategies to accommodate future additional needs.

This decision was not made lightly, but necessary in order to protect our patients, our team and our doctors after reading updated recommendations by the CDC and OSHA. Dental procedures generate a large number of droplets and aerosols. The latest advice is that our standard personal protective equipment is not effective enough to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, especially when patients are in the incubation period and are unaware they are infected. This is especially unique to our profession as children are being found to be asymptomatic carriers. This means that screening is no longer considered effective in capturing all who may be infected with the virus. Continuing to provide dental treatment and cleanings at this time is just not appropriate when trying to limit this virus.

OSHA has placed dental professionals in the “very high exposure risk” category regarding COVID-19. Current recommendations are that dentists and team members wear N95 masks for dental treatment during this pandemic. However, not only are these masks extremely difficult to obtain at this time but most importantly, they need to be conserved for other professions that are at the forefront of fighting this virus.

If your child has a true dental emergency, there will be a doctor to assist you. Please do NOT go to any Emergency Rooms and call our office first at 502-254-6097.

Rest assured that we are reading scientific and government recommendations, talking with local colleagues, and taking direction from our national organizations. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause, but it is imperative that as a community, we slow the spread of this virus, and that requires extreme measures. We are aiming to help flatten the curve by implementing this policy. We remain committed to the safety of you and your family! Please call us if you have any questions.

We appreciate your understanding as we all try to navigate through this situation.
Stay Home and Stay Healthy!

Dr. Korie Acord and the Derby Pediatric Dentistry Team