Dental X-ray Policy
Dental X-rays are an essential and necessary tool for providing comprehensive dental care. While a visual and physical examination of the teeth is often sufficient to successfully diagnose caries (infections) in teeth, there are places that cannot be examined without the aid of x-rays. When caries are found in the teeth, an x-ray allows the dentist to determine the extent of the infection. This knowledge helps the dentist tailor treatment to the exact needs of your child. Sometimes this means being able to give a wider range of treatment options to the parents. Sometimes it means being able to postpone treatment indefinitely!
Our dentists at Growing Grins Pediatric Dentistry make every effort to avoid taking unnecessary x-rays. However, there are many times where they are critical to making sure that your child is receiving the very best dental care possible. Withholding permission to take x-rays can compromise our ability to provide that level of care. We will not perform dental operations in situations where the lack of x-rays impairs our ability to properly treat your child.
Guardians in the Operatory
At Growing Grins Pediatric Dentistry, we prefer to have a parent or guardian present in the operatories while we are providing dental care. For younger children, your presence can have a calming effect that can improve patient behavior during a time that some children find to be stressful. For patients of all ages, it allows the dentist to spend more time with you discussing your child’s dental needs and treatment options, and answer questions you may have. It is still important for your child to be able to focus on the dentist’s instructions during these visits. We ask that you discuss the dental visit in a positive light and let them know the dentist will explain everything. Let the dentist take the lead in describing the visit to your child, as sometimes the steps may even be different than you were anticipating. There are some words we ask you NOT to say to your child as they may negatively affect your child’s behavior. We still believe in describing to your child steps that will happen, but we use terms that are more “kid friendly” to not unnecessarily create anxiety for your child. Below are words we do not use, and some words we might use instead.
Do NOT use:
- Shot (Instead: Sleepy jelly and Sleepy juice)
- Needle (Instead: Straw to squirt sleepy juice)
- Drill (Instead: Water brush)
- Yank or Pull teeth out (Instead: Wiggle teeth)
- Blood (Instead: Say nothing, or call it a "Boo-boo")
- Pain/Hurt (Instead: Say nothing, or uncomfortable)
We also remind parents to not discuss their own dental fears or dislike of the dentist. If a parent is scared of something, children will think they should be afraid of it as well. While we understand many circumstances in dentistry may be uncomfortable, it does not need to lead to fear or anxieties when a compassionate and trusting relationship can develop between the child and their dentist. We rely on parents to help provide the framework to allow that to happen.
Exceptions to parent presence:
- Parent presence seems to be worsening patient behavior to the point of being unable to complete treatment.
- Parents are being disruptive.
- During IV sedation appointments, parent presence is not allowed (just as it is not allowed in a hospital during surgeries) to allow us to have adequate room for anesthesia equipment and to be able to focus our full attention on treating your child safely.
While you are back in the treatment rooms during your child's appointment, we do ask that you refrain from cellphone use unless it is an emergency as this time is as important for you as it is for your child. The dental team uses this time to communicate important aspects of your child's dental care and treatment needs with both you and your child.
Additionally, for the safety and privacy of our staff and patients, we do ask that you refrain from photography and videos while in treatment areas unless prior consent from the dental team has been given. If you are wanting to show your child or another parent their trip to the dentist, please just ask us and we will be happy to find an appropriate way for you to document your child's visit.