All You Need to Know About Digital X-Rays
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 helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Technically, digital x-rays are preventative tools that can provide valuable information durin any dental exam. Dentists, as well as dental hygienists, rely on this information to accurately detect hidden problems or abnormalities. Upon analyzing the results, the dentist can now make an accurate treatment plan. Without a reliable digital x-ray procedure, most dental problems will remain undetected, thus leading to greater damage and potential oral health degradation.
Digital x-rays can reveal:
Abscesses or cysts.
Potential bone loss.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may help you save time and money! And of course, you also get to save your teeth!
Are digital x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural sources of radiation. The average soil, for example, accounts for a minimal concentration of radiation – as well as your handy smartphone. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to 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, which reduces your time in the dental office. 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, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking the necessary x-rays and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
How often should digital x-rays be taken?
The need for digital x-rays depends on each patient’s specific dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on your medical and dental history. Other factors included are dental exam results, progressive signs and symptoms, your age, and general risk of disease.
A full mouth series (or complete series) of digital x-rays is advisable for new patients. A full series is usually acceptable for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (digital x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (dental check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems. If you have a complicated oral disease, then more check-ups are possibly needed.
Understanding the nature of digital x-rays is a big step towards oral health improvement. Due to such awareness, you will be able to communicate with your dentist effectively. This is important in ensuring better oral health and improving the success rate of your upcoming dental procedures.
Lancaster Dental, your trusted Kitchener dentist, will help you get a dental x-ray. Contact us today to learn more or book your appointment!