Advances in dental diagnosis technologies are transforming industry standards of care. In fact, at Michelle Wang DDS, we continually embrace technical improvements and dental methodologies that increase patient comfort and dental outcomes. One tool that we put to use is the digital x-ray. Digital x-rays are quickly replacing traditional film x-rays due to their effectiveness and speed. We have incorporated digital x-rays into our practice because our patients have come to expect world-class service.
What Is A Digital X-ray?
Digital x-rays use sensors that can capture extremely clear images of your teeth. They are very useful in detecting the decay and diseases which might be undiagnosed in an oral exam. Since the device is connected to a computer, the transfer of the image occurs within a few seconds. This is a significant improvement from traditional dental x-rays, which required a dark room and tedious image processing. At our offices, we project the digital image to a large screen to maximize the benefits of digital x-rays.
There two main types of dental x-rays:
Intraoral digital x-rays are the most common type of the two digital styles. The name intraoral is derived from the combination of two words intra (inside) and oral (mouth). Thus, this x-ray device is placed inside your mouth to capture images of your teeth. We use very modern intraoral x-rays that are comfortable and lightning quick. Once we take a picture of your teeth, you’ll be able to see the images in a second or two.
This x-ray type is performed outside of the mouth by a specialized machine that rotates around your head for a few seconds. The panoramic views that it captures allow us to have a complete picture of your teeth at various angles. This is helpful in seeing how your teeth align and rest in relation to each other. The extraoral x-ray enables a broader range of dental planning and treatments.
What are the main advantages of digital X-rays?
Some of the keys of digital x-rays include:
- Lightning fast results. Digital x-rays are ready nearly instantaneously, and they can be shared without processing.
- Better imaging. Digital x-rays are extremely clear which aids examinations. They are also not compromised by enlargement, which is vital when they are projected onto large screens.
- Reduction in radiation. The radiation exposure that a patient is subjected to is nearly 80% less as compared to traditional x-rays.
- Environmental impact. Compared to film-based x-rays; the impact on the environment is significantly reduced.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The frequency depends directly on the health of your teeth. In the case of tooth decay, you may need to receive digital x-ray every six months. In normal cases, you may not need to have an x-ray more than once every two years.
Are X-rays dangerous?
Even though digital x-rays do contain an extremely slight dose of radiation, research has proven that they are safe under professional use.
Can digital X-rays be taken when you are pregnant?
Dental x-rays present small doses of radiation to the teeth. We take every precaution to make sure our patients are safe from the minimal exposure to dental x-rays. We do not take routine dental x-rays on patients that are pregnant.