What Is a Digital X-Ray?
Instead of the usual paper tabs that fit awkwardly and can cause discomfort, a small sensor is put inside your mouth during a digital x-ray. A small, discreet line connects the sensor to a computer, which records a highly detailed image of your mouth. The image is then sent to a computer and quickly shown onto a screen for the dentist to examine.
Intraoral (from inside the mouth) and extraoral (from outside the mouth) x-rays are the two most common types of dental x-rays. The most common intraoral radiograph is a bitewing x-ray. Previously, uncomfortable bits of the film were inserted inside the patient’s mouth for them to bite down on while the x-ray was taken. The compact sensors of digital technology make this form of imaging much more comfortable. An extraoral x-ray in which a machine rotates around the head is known as a panoramic x-ray. The dentist can see the entire mouth with the images that result.
What Are the Benefits of Digital X-Rays?
In many respects, digital x-rays assist both the patient and the dentist. The following are some of the advantages:
- Reduced chair time and wait time — results are instantaneous and highly accurate
- Improved imaging — images can be enhanced, expanded, and optimized in a variety of ways
- Less radiation —digital imaging exposes patients to 80% less radiation than traditional x-rays
- Decreased environmental impact — digital x-rays reduce the amount of material and chemical waste generated by traditional film-based x-rays.
How often do I need to have a dental x-ray taken?
The frequency with which you will need to have dental x-rays depends on your overall oral health. If you are suffering from dental decay or disease, you may need to be x-rayed every six months. If you are in good oral health, you may only need a dental x-ray every couple of years.
Are x-rays dangerous?
Though dental x-rays do require very low doses of radiation exposure, they are considered very safe. The use of digital technology further reduces the level of radiation you receive from a dental x-rays.
Is it safe to have dental x-rays taken while pregnant?
Dental x-rays are very safe. However, if you are pregnant, it’s best to minimize dental treatments and avoid dental x-rays if possible. In the case of a dental emergency, your dental provider will take all precautions available to minimize even the slightest risk to your baby.
At Sandwich Dental Associates, the use of digital x-rays allows us to provide you with the dental experience you deserve. Decreased anxiety and precise diagnosis allow for your increased comfort and confidence in our commitment to helping you maintain a healthy, bright, white smile for years to come.
If you are in the Sandwich, MA area, call 508.888.4400 to schedule an appointment today!