Shriners Children’s offers specialized facial and dental imaging for children with craniofacial differences.
Facial and dental radiology (medical imaging/X-rays) is a painless process which helps surgeons and doctors understand each child’s unique facial anatomy to plan treatments that allow children to reach their full potential.
Your child’s long-term health and safety is our highest priority. We have pediatric-trained specialists who use radiation doses as low as possible while obtaining quality images. In addition, Shriners Children’s specialists work together to coordinate X-ray needs to reduce the overall amount of radiation exposure in childhood.
We provide imaging services at certain times in a child’s facial growth to evaluate and plan surgical reconstructions of craniofacial conditions beginning around age 6. Our dental X-rays may be taken on a few types of X-ray machines, the Pan Ceph, a dental computerized tomography (CT) scan or cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan:
- Pan Ceph: Takes two types of X-rays on one machine. A panoramic (pan), a frontal view that scans upper/lower jaws, teeth and facial bone anatomy. Also a craniofacial X-ray (cephalogram) – a side view of the patient which helps doctors see positions of your child’s skull bones, jaws and teeth in relation to one another.
- Dental CT Scan: Takes many images and a computer combines them into a detailed 3D cross section of a child’s facial bones and tissues.
- CBCT*: A small machine that moves around your child. It uses a coned-shaped X-ray beam. CBCT provides doctors with a 3D image of the child’s mouth, jaw, airway, neck, teeth and ears, nose and throat. A CBCT exposes a child to less radiation than traditional CT scanners.
*Study may be completed at a Shriners Children’s partner institution
Preparing Your Child
Facial and dental imaging is usually painless for children. It may be helpful to inform your child that they should stay very still during the short imaging process, as a machine circles their head. They may be asked to rest their chin or forehead on a support, and wear a somewhat heavy protective apron over their clothes. Children should not wear metal jewelry or metal hair decorations for the imaging.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
Quality imaging is essential in order to accurately plan and time surgical procedures. Imaging is used to assess the developing facial skeleton and the presence and position of teeth.