Digital X-Rays

Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography (digital x-rays) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation by 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. Dentists and dental hygienists 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.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using protective apron to shield the body and using modern, digital sensors that cuts the exposure time of each x-ray down.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age considerations, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of x-rays good for three to five years is recommended for new patients. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once a year to detect new dental problems.

Regular teeth cleanings with x-rays help us detect cavities in their earliest stages and allow us to provide conservative less costly solutions.

Intraoral Camera 

People seldom have a clear idea of the actual status of their dental health. Until recently, even with lights and mirrors, a patient was unable to see what the dentist can see.  We use an intraoral camera to show you the inside of your mouth at 20 times its actual size, allowing you to see what we see. The dentist or hygienist will insert a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. The wand simply takes pictures of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images to a computer monitor that you can comfortably view from the dental chair. The dentist can point out problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment.  The camera may reveal the early stages of potentially serious problems, allowing you the opportunity to prevent small problems before they escalate. This is especially helpful with gum disease and conditions that cause damage without causing pain. The camera’s honest survey can also show you how your regular home hygiene routine is paying off.