Digital X-Rays

To improve your care, we've invested in a new way of looking into your mouth, a procedure that's fast and incredibly precise—digital x-rays. Digital x-rays are large, clear, and accurate computer-generated images. Files are viewable immediately, and are ready for discussion. The computer allows enlargement, highlighting, magnification, inverting, and clear viewing, color-coding and contrasting of x-ray photos for educational purposes.

Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays, requiring up to 90% less radiation. However, even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are thus considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include taking only those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields and thyroid collars to protect the body. Not only are digital x-rays better for the patient’s health and safety, they are faster and more comfortable to take, reducing your time in the dental office.

This new technology adds further benefits for our patients. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to examine your oral health more comprehensively than can be seen by the naked eye. For example, dental x-rays may detect cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven’t grown all the way in. In addition, we can detect cavities far better than with the old system, and sooner and while smaller than ever before. This means that we can correct them sooner—before they seriously weaken the tooth.

For insurance purposes, referrals, or patient education, a digital radiograph can be accurately reproduced any number of times. Digital images can also be e-mailed to a dental specialist for immediate review. In summary, digital X-rays are faster and allow us to provide better quality care.

We take the following types of digital x-rays:

  • Bitewing: These show the crowns of several upper and lower teeth on one small film. This type of X-ray is especially useful for showing cavities between teeth and changes in bone caused by periodontal disease.
  • Periapical: This X-ray shows entire teeth, including all of the roots and surrounding tissues on one small film. These X-rays show many kinds of disorders, including impacted teeth, fractures, abscesses, cysts, and tumors.
  • Full-mouth series: This is a complete set of bitewing and periapical X-rays that show all of the teeth, roots, and related areas of the jaws. This consists of 18 X-ray pictures that are taken. A full-mouth series is taken once every 3-5 years.
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