Digital X-Rays or radiographs are an essential part of dental treatment. Imaging of your mouth and jaw is crucial for proper diagnosis and prevention. These images allow dentists to examine all parts of the mouth, teeth, jaw, and cheeks.
There are two categories of dental X-rays:
- Intraoral (taken inside the mouth)
- Extraoral (taken outside of the mouth)
Advances in digital x-rays allow dentists to zoom-in, add color, and display as a negative any images that they take of your mouth. Also, multiple x-rays taken over time can also be used to show progress in development or in a long-term restoration, like braces or implants. This high level of detail of your teeth, jaw, and supportive tissues can aid in:
- finding cavities
- seeing the roots of teeth
- checking the health of jaw and teeth sockets
- watching for periodontal disease
- monitoring mouth health through development
Are X-Rays Safe?
Digital radiography systems reduce radiation exposure up to 80% compared to film-based systems. Moreover, there are safety precautions to eliminate unnecessary radiation. For example, when a dentist takes your x-rays, a lead body apron will be placed from your neck to your knees to shield your body from an stray radiation. Also, the dentist or hygienist will only focus the x-ray beam on a specific place in the mouth. In addition, high-speed film used in digital x-rays reduces the amount of radiation.
Digital X-Rays and the Environment
Digital x-rays also reduce environmental impact, as they reduce the amount of chemical waste associated with radiography. Processing x-rays used to require the same chemicals used to develop film, which required toxic waste removal services. Because of this technology, x-rays are easily emailed to insurance companies, or other doctors. In addition, this type of imaging rarely requires the use of paper print-outs, which also saves resources.
3D Panoramic X-Ray Machine
The Sirona Orthophos XG 3D, our new X-ray machine allows the dentist or hygienist to render a 3D image of your teeth and jaw. This allows for a more accurate diagnosis and evaluation. Previously, Ann Arbor Smiles only used 2D x-rays and needed to refer patients out who needed special imaging. Now, we are able to offer in-house x-rays for patients that require advanced dental procedures like implants.
These x-rays can assist in diagnosing tooth decay, abscesses, gum disease, infections, and some types of tumors. Also, the level of detail allows for less invasive procedures to make a diagnosis. The sooner we detect a problem, the faster we can treat any damage. And early detection also significantly reduces treatment costs!