Cleanings & Prevention
Digital x-ray’s are the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged. This helps the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital xrays reduce radiation 8090% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. Dental xrays are an essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without xrays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental xrays may reveal:
• Abscesses or cysts.
• Bone loss.
• Cancerous and noncancerous 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 may save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort.
Are dental xrays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital xrays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital xrays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take. Since the digital image is captured electronically, we have eliminated the developing and disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
Even though digital xrays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure. These precautions include only taking xrays that are necessary and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
How often should dental xrays be taken?
The need for dental xrays depends on each patient’s individual dental health. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary xrays based upon the review of your dental history, dental exam, unusual signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
A full mouth series of dental xrays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bitewing xrays (xrays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at checkup visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.