Digital radiography, also known as digital X-ray, refers to the latest technology used for dental X-rays. It’s a technology that adopts the use of an electronic sensor (in place of X-ray films) that captures and stores a computer’s digital image. It’s possible to magnify this image, which makes it easier for the dentist to detect problems. With Digital X-rays, there is 80-90% reduction in radiation.
Dental X-rays provide important insights that are not seen during regular dental examinations. The information is used by dental hygienists and dentists in the accurate detection and treatment of dental problems. Detecting problem areas without X-rays is difficult.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
- Tumors (Cancerous and non-cancerous)
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Developmental abnormalities
- Decay between the teeth
- Badly positioned tooth or root
- Abnormalities below the gun or inside a tooth
Early detection and treatment of dental problems can help you save money and time, as well as preserve your teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
Natural radiations abound in our environment. The level of radiation produced by Digital X-rays is significantly lower than what is produced by normal dental X-rays. Aside from the fact that Digital X-rays are safer for the patient, they are more comfortable and faster, which means you won’t have to spend too much time in the dental office. Also, the need to develop the X-rays is eliminated since the image is digital and captured electronically. This prevents the disposal of toxic waste into our environment.
Despite digital X-rays being considered safe due to the low level of radiation, dentists still take proactive measures to minimize the exposure of patients to radiation. An important precaution is taking X-rays only when they are necessary, and protecting the body by wearing lead shield apron.
How often should one take dental X-rays?
The health needs of each patient will determine how often they are required to take X-rays. Your dental hygienist and dentist will take a look at your dental and medical history, your age, signs, and symptoms before recommending necessary X-rays for you.
Dentists usually recommend a full mouth series of dental X-rays for new patients. This is usually perfect for three to five years. Bite-wing (when the bottom and top teeth are clenched) X-rays are taken during check-up visits and are only recommended at most twice a year to reveal any new dental problems.