When you have a problem with your mouth, an exam is needed. During your exam, the inside of your mouth is looked at. However, this isn’t all. Another part of helping to diagnose different oral health concerns is taking X-rays. X-rays are the images that let us see your jawbone and the roots of your teeth. At Advanced Dental Associates, we take these necessary images with digital radiography.
Digital Radiography Vs. Traditional X-Rays
Radiography has been around since the early 1900s. Traditional X-rays use film to capture images. Once the images are taken, they have to be developed. This is done in a darkroom using chemicals. The images have to be treated properly, or else they could be overexposed or ruined, resulting in the need for additional images.
Digital radiography is different. Instead of film, the images are captured digitally. Instead of needing to be developed, the captured images are displayed within seconds on a computer monitor. They no longer need to be developed, which saves time. Digital images also mean no chemicals, making it a more environmentally friendly process. One of the biggest benefits of digital X-rays for concerned patients is a greatly reduced exposure to radiation.
Intraoral Vs Extraoral Radiography
Intraoral X-rays are the ones that are taken from inside of your mouth. These are the X-rays most people think about when they think of dental X-rays. There are a few different types, including bitewing, periapical, and occlusal. When you have a digital intraoral X-ray taken, an electronic sensor is placed into your mouth. This sensor allows us to capture your necessary images.
Extraoral X-rays are those that are taken outside of your mouth. These images are not as common, but they may be necessary for certain situations. Digital extraoral X-rays include imaging such as 3D cone beam X-rays, or CBCT, and panoramic X-rays.
When are Digital X-Rays Needed?
Digital X-rays are an important part of dentistry. These images are taken during comprehensive exams, which are performed on new patients and patients who have not been seen in quite a while. For most healthy adults, routine X-rays are only needed once a year. Children typically require more so that we can monitor the growth of their jawbone and their teeth. X-rays may also be necessary if you come to the office with symptoms. In such cases, the images can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms so we can then recommend the appropriate treatment.
Is Digital Radiography Safe?
Your safety and comfort are a top priority. When performed properly, and with the necessary safety precautions in place, digital X-rays are very safe. One of their greatest benefits is that your radiation exposure is greatly reduced. A lead vest is placed over your chest and abdomen to help further protect you from any exposure. While safe, it is recommended that women who are pregnant avoid getting X-rays. There are some situations in which they may be necessary, but we will go over your specific situation to determine the best course of action.
If you have any questions or concerns about digital radiography, we are here to help. For more information, call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 714-5589 today.