The latest technology used to take dental X-rays uses an electronic sensor (instead of X-ray film) to capture and store digital images on a computer. It is known as the Digital radiography (digital X-ray). Its X-rays can be instantly viewed and enlarged, thereby assisting the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems more easily. Traditional X-rays produce a low level of radiation exposure and digital X-rays reduce that already low exposure by 80-90%
Dental X-rays take a better proactive measure in the preventative, diagnostic tools that provide more authentic information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dental practitioners use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
Abscesses or cysts.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between the teeth.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
It is advisable to take measures in detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage in order to save time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
Digital X-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. They are not only considered better for the health and safety of the patient, but are faster and more comfortable to take. This technology is more efficient and effective. The digital image which is captured electronically does not need to be developed further which eliminates a process that would require disposal of harmful chemical waste into the environment.
Regardless of this low exposure to radiation, Dentists will still take necessary precautions to further limit the patient’s exposure. They protect the body by shielding it with a lead apron and only take X-rays that are necessary.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
Each patient’s individual dental health needs are considered by your dentist and dental hygienist before any recommendation is made for X-rays. Other considerations are 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 patients new to the office. This set of X-rays are usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing X-rays are X-rays taken of the top and bottom teeth while biting together. These specific X-rays are taken at check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year to identify any new dental problems or possible future concerns.