Digital Radiography Benefits
Digital x-rays, or digital radiography, offer the latest in dental x-ray technology. Instead of using x-ray film, an electronic sensor transfers the digital image to a computer, where it can be viewed instantly. The dentist or dental hygienist can enlarge the picture, making it even easier to detect problems.
Why Do I Need X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are diagnostic tools that provide a more complete picture than a regular exam. Hidden abnormalities such as abscesses, cancer, poor root positioning, and problems below the gum line are often detected with x-rays, enabling your dentist to create a comprehensive treatment plan.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe?
Radiation is everywhere in the environment, but dental x-rays have always been considered low exposure. With the digital version, that already minimal level is reduced by 75% or more. Although they are considered very safe, dentists still protect the patient with a lead apron, and only take those x-rays they deem necessary.
In addition to their increased safety, dental x-rays are also faster and more comfortable for the patient. And since they are electronic, no chemicals are required to develop them, sparing the environment as well. They are an ideal tool for identifying potential dental issues with the lowest degree of risk.
How Often Should I Have Digital X-Rays?
The occurrence of dental x-rays depends on many individual factors, such as dental history, age, disease risk, and exam results. There is no set schedule for taking x-rays, but most dentists request them for new patients.
A full set of x-rays is usually good for 3-5 years; bite-wing x-rays, which are the side profiles of top and bottom teeth biting down, are generally taken once or twice a year.