Digital x-rays are one of the latest technology choices used to take dental x-rays. Instead of using x-ray film as in years gone by, it uses an electronic sensor to capture and store a digital image on a computer. The image can be viewed instantly by the dental professional who can also enlarge the image to detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce the amount of radiation the patient is exposed to by 80 to 90%.
Digital x-rays are a preventative tool for diagnosing dental problems and provide essential information during a regular dental examination. Using them helps dental professionals detect abnormalities and other problems so they can develop an appropriate treatment plan. Without x-rays, some dental problems might remain undetected.
What can Digital X-rays Reveal?
Dental professionals may find a number of things by looking at digital x-rays including:
- Cysts and abscesses
- Loss of bone in the jawbone or other areas
- Tumors (cancerous or non-cancerous)
- Decay between the patient’s teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Teeth or roots that are poorly positioned
- Problems below the gum line or inside a tooth
But are they safe?
Our environments can expose us to radiation. However, digital x-rays expose patients to significantly less radiation that traditional x-rays. This means they are better and safer for the patient. They are also faster and much more comfortable to take than traditional x-rays. For patients, this means less time in the dentist’s office. Digital images are captured electronically so there is no film to develop like traditional x-rays. This eliminates disposing of harmful waste and chemicals in the environment.
How often will the dentist need to take x-rays?
Each patient has individual oral health needs and your dentist may recommend x-rays based on your age, symptoms and overall risk of developing oral diseases.