With ever-evolving dental technology, dental x-rays have become a component of modern dentistry.
They have significantly impacted the diagnosis and treatment of oral health issues by allowing dentists to better see cavities, cracks in teeth, and other problems. They can also determine the location of impacted teeth and any other dental abnormalities, making oral care easier, less invasive, and more efficient.
At Middle Creek Dental we utilize the latest in digital dental x-rays to provide our patients with high-quality images that allow for precise diagnostics and treatments for your dental issues.
What are Digital X-Rays?
Digital dental x-rays are a type of radiography that uses digital technology to generate digital images of teeth and surrounding structures. Unlike traditional x-rays, which use film to capture images, digital x-rays use an electronic sensor that is placed in the patient's mouth to capture the image.
These digital images can then be instantly viewed on a computer monitor and manipulated for improved clarity and analysis.
Some benefits of digital dental x-rays include reduced radiation exposure for patients, enhanced imaging capabilities, and immediate access to the images for both dentists and patients. Digital radiography also allows for easier storage and transfer of x-ray images.
The most common digital dental x-rays are bitewing x-rays, which generate images of the upper and lower teeth, including the [[[apge:14685|crowns]]] and the jawbone.
The second one is a periapical x-ray. This digital x-ray may look like a bite-wing x-ray but only generates images of one or two teeth at a time. However, it displays the full dimension of each tooth, from the outer structure to the pulp, jawbone, and root.
In addition, periapical x-rays are utilized to evaluate the extent of root infections and bone decay. They can also showcase any changes in bone density that might have occurred over a certain period.
Unlike the other two types of digital dental x-rays, a panoramic x-ray is a two-dimensional x-ray that displays the entire dental arch, upper and lower jaw, and surrounding bone structures and tissues within a single image. They commonly examine teeth number, placement, and development, including impacted wisdom teeth.
Panoramic x-rays also diagnose TMJ disorders, tumors in the mouth area, and other abnormalities.
How Are Digital X-Rays Different From Traditional X-Rays?
Digital dental x-rays use electronic sensors to capture images rather than using traditional film. This allows for instant viewing of the image and easier storage, eliminating the need for film development in a dark room to capture and store the image.
The digital dental x-ray sensor also directly transmits the image to a computer, allowing for enhanced magnification and manipulation of the image to compare it to previous ones.
By using this method, a computer can eliminate identical images, only capturing and storing anything that is different. This process is called subtraction radiography and can highlight even the smallest changes, allowing for early intervention.
Another major difference is the amount of radiation exposure. Digital x-rays emit up to 90% less radiation compared to traditional x-rays. Since they use a much lower level of radiation, they reduce radiation exposure for both the patient and the dental healthcare professionals performing the x-ray.
This also prevents radiation-related health complications like skin burns, cancer, radiation sickness, and damage to tissue and bones.
Unlike traditional dental x-rays, where the radiologist had to take multiple images at different angles to get a full view of the patient's teeth and jaw, digital x-rays allow for more precise and detailed images of the entire structure of the teeth to be taken.
This enhanced precision can lead to earlier detection and treatment of potential dental issues since the images are clearer and can offer up to 256 shades of gray. In comparison, traditional film x-rays only offer images with up to 25 shades of gray.
Additionally, digital x-ray imaging is less invasive than regular x-ray. The sensors used for digital x-rays are smaller, allowing for less discomfort for the patient during the procedure. This is because there is no need to wear leaded aprons or bite down on a bulky x-ray holder while the image is being taken, as was necessary with traditional x-rays.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays have been used in dentistry for over 100 years and are an important tool for detecting and diagnosing oral health issues. The American Dental Association states that dental x-rays emit a very low dose of radiation and precaution is taken to ensure the exposure is "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA).
Advances in technology have also greatly reduced the amount of radiation used during dental x-rays. Overall, the benefits of dental x-rays outweigh any potential risks and they are a valuable part of maintaining oral health.
Can You Get Dental X-Rays While Pregnant?
Sometimes during pregnancy, you may need to have dental x-rays taken. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that dental x-rays do not pose a risk to the pregnant woman or her fetus during any trimester.
However, it is recommended that extra precautions should be taken during these x-rays, such as using a lead bib and thyroid collar to further protect the mother and the fetus from radiation exposure.
It is also important to discuss any concerns with the dentist and obstetrician before having dental x-rays taken during pregnancy. Dental x-rays are still safe if you plan to become pregnant or are currently breastfeeding.
How Often Do You Need Dental X-Rays?
The frequency of dental x-rays varies for each individual patient depending on the health of your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association suggests that adults without any risk factors only need dental x-rays at least once every two to three years.
However, patients with a higher risk of dental issues, such as recurring decay, may need to have x-rays taken every six months or annually. Other factors that may warrant more frequent x-rays include recent dental procedures, a history of gum disease, or if there are any suspected problems with the teeth or jawbone.
Schedule Today for Your X-Rays at Middle Creek Dental!
Are you searching for a dental office that offers convenient and reliable x-ray technology? Look no further. Contact us today at (208) 505-9975 to schedule an imaging appointment with Middle Creek Dental and we will give you the personalized care you deserve. Together, we can ensure a healthy smile for years to come.