Lollipop Comparison, A DEXIS Pediatric Technique

February 2013

Christine Hart, RDH, DEXIS Associate

Many procedures we perform in dentistry that involve children often require us to prepare the child verbally and mentally in order to be successful. Much like explaining a handpiece or instruments we use, here are some helpful tips that work very well when taking dental digital X-rays on a child. I like to refer to this as the “lollipop comparison.”

I always kept a lollipop with my X-ray sensor. When it was time to take images, the first thing I would do is show the child the lollipop. I would ask, “Do you think you could fit this into your mouth?” Of course, every child is going to say, “Yes.” This was the initial step in helping them realize they can fit the sensor in their mouth. Next, I would show the child the sensor next to the lollipop—pointing out the similar shape and size of both, and emphasizing the rounded corners on the sensor. The third step was to let the child hold the sensor and feel how smooth and small it is. Additionally, children growing up today are very familiar with computers. Therefore, I also found it very helpful to let the child know they would see a “picture” of their tooth on the monitor as soon as we were done.

When taking images on a child, another helpful positioning tip is to place the sensor on the tongue rather than under the tongue. This works very well in many instances because of the rounded, smooth corners of the sensor as opposed to the sharp edges of conventional X-ray film.

Most patients, including children, have a fear of the unknown. The more information we can provide up front, the more positive their experience will be.