Digital X-Rays

Digital X-Rays - Edmonton Dentistry

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 more easily.  Digital X-rays reduce radiation 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.
  • 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 can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your 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 compared to traditional dental x-rays.  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 those X-rays that are necessary, 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 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.

 

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