Digital X-rays

Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology available to take dental x-rays without using traditional levels of radiation. Dental x-rays can provide valuable information that is unseen to the dentist. Without x-rays, problems can go too long without detection. This digital technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image onto a computer. The image can be instantly viewed and enlarged in order to detect problems faster and easier. The images are stored electronically on a computer, reducing the need for paper records and making x-ray sharing easier for insurance or referral uses. Dr. John and his hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.

Are dental x-rays safe?
Digital x-rays are very safe for the patient – extremely low levels of radiation is used to create the images – so they’re also more environmentally friendly and use none of the chemicals necessary to create x-ray films. This type of x-ray reduces radiation 80-90% compared to the exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take and don’t require the use of a large mouthpiece. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the 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, Dr. John and his team still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

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 will save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort.

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 upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your 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 (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.