Digital radiography (digital X-ray) 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, which helps the dentist and dental hygienist to detect problems more easily. Digital X-rays reduce radiation 80-90 percent 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 can go undetected.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
Abscesses or cysts
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
Decay between the teeth
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 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 than traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital X-rays better for your health and safety, they are faster and more comfortable to take. This reduces your time in the dental office. Because the digital image is captured electronically, there is also no need to develop the X-rays. This therefore eliminates the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
Though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, our office still takes necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include taking only necessary X-rays and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
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 the necessary X-rays based upon a review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age, and risk of disease.
A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended 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 (checkup) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.