Children shouldn't be given routine dental x-rays. The radiation may affect their developing organs and tissues, says a group of dentists who want to change standard practice.
Children should have x-rays only when absolutely necessary, the dose should be reduced and the child should always wear a thyroid collar when the test is given, say dentists who have created the 'Image Gently' campaign.
Giving children routine x-rays when they are small could affect their long-term health and expose them to excessive radiation levels during their lifetime, says campaign leader William C Scarfe, based at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
The campaigners have set out a six-point plan for dentists to follow when considering an x-ray for a child: select x-rays for a patient's individual needs, not as routine; use the fastest image receptor possible, such as E- or F-speed film or sensors; aim the x-ray beam only at the immediate area of interest; use thyroid collars; reduce the level of exposure to better suit the child; use cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) only when absolutely necessary.
(Source: Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, 2014;