Digital x-rays are a more streamlined way of taking dental radiographs. Like traditional x-rays, digital versions provide an in-depth view of the structures of the mouth, helping dentists detect complications and develop effective modes of treatment. Digital x-rays are capable of revealing hidden caries, bone erosion, and even tooth decay hiding beneath restorations.
Requiring less radiation and no film to process, digital x-rays have become the standard for oral imaging. These systems produce instant digital images that can easily be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. The images are captured, stored, and even transmitted via in-office computers. In fact, dentists can easily print or email copies of x-rays in just seconds.
Dental x-rays make for a better and more efficient patient experience. Office visits are faster, patients are exposed to less radiation, and radiographs can be sent to a specialist for review in a fraction of the time necessary for traditional film x-rays.
Did You Know?
There are different types of dental x-rays that your dentist will use to evaluate your teeth and jawbone. These include:
Occlusal: shows how your upper and lower teeth line up when your jaw is closed and captures all your teeth in a single x-ray.
Bite-Wing: focuses on the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. This type of x-ray is used to detect changes in bone density as well as decay between the teeth.
Periapical: focuses on a small portion of the upper or lower jaw and shows the entire tooth from crown to root. They are used to detect problems with the roots or surrounding bone structure.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How often do I need dental x-rays?
How often you need dental x-rays will depend on your oral health. On average, you can expect to have dental x-rays taken during your semi-annual dental checkup, which means twice a year. However, some dentists may elect to only perform dental x-rays yearly unless you are experiencing symptoms or require restorative treatment.
How are dental x-rays performed?
Before having a dental x-ray, your dentist will ask you to remove any metal jewelry or hair accessories. Then, they will have you wear a lead apron to protect you from additional radiation. Dental x-rays may be performed while you sit in the dental chair or they may be performed in a separate room. When having dental x-rays taken, your dentist will ask you to remain still, hold certain positions, and bite down on the film holders to obtain the necessary images.
When will I get the results of my dental x-rays?
Since we use digital x-rays, your results will be immediately available. In fact, you can expect that your dentist will discuss these x-rays with you during your dental appointment. In some cases, your x-rays may indicate the need for treatment. Your dentist will explain all this to you and answer any questions you may have.