Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. We use an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores a digital image on our computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping us detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. We use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
Abscesses or cysts.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between your teeth.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for your health and safety, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in our office. Since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop your x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, we still take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation. We only take those x-rays that are necessary and using lead apron shields to protect you.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on your individual dental health needs. We will recommend necessary x-rays after reviewing your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age and risk of disease.
We recommend a full mouth series of dental x-rays for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.