At Courtesy Dental & Orthodontics diagnosing dental conditions is safe and easy, thanks to the cutting-edge dental technology known as digital radiography.
Digital radiography (known as digital X-ray) uses an electronic sensor instead of traditional X-ray film to capture X-ray images. The digital images are then easily stored directly to a computer.
Low dose digital X-rays have a number of advantages:
Why are X-rays necessary?
As a preventative, diagnostic tool, dental X-rays are essential, revealing valuable information not otherwise visible during a regular dental exam. They enable us to look at what is going on between teeth and under the gum, then use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and create an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, such problem areas may go undetected.
Among other things, dental X-rays may reveal:
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort—and your teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Studies have shown that the radiation exposure from traditional bitewing dental X-rays is about 1/100th of the amount of radiation obtained from natural sources in the US each year. Furthermore, digital X-rays produce up to 90% less 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.
Are there any safety considerations?
Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are very safe we 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. We only recommend X-rays that are medically and dentally necessary, based upon our review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease. If you are a new patient, we may recommend radiographs to determine the present status of the hidden areas of your mouth and to help analyze changes that may occur later. The schedule for needing radiographs at recall visits varies according to your age, risk for disease and signs and symptoms. Recent films may be needed to detect new cavities, or to determine the status of gum disease or for evaluation of growth and development.