Digital X-Rays

Part of your cleaning and prevention plan involves X-ray images of your teeth. We use the latest X-ray technology, known as digital radiography, which uses an electronic sensor  (instead of X-ray film) to capture and store digital images of your teeth. These images can be instantly viewed and enlarged, helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems more easily. Digital X-rays use 80-90% less radiation exposure than the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.

Dental X-rays are essential, preventive, diagnostic tools which provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental X-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, and unnecessary discomfort. Taking these preventive measures may even save your teeth!

Are dental X-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital X-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental X-rays. Not only are digital X-rays better for your health and safety, they are also faster and more comfortable to take, reducing your time in the dental office. In addition, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the X-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those X-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How often should dental X-rays be taken?

The frequency and need for X-rays are based on: medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms,  age, and risk of disease. Although a full X-ray of your top and bottom teeth are taken once or twice a year, new X-rays may be needed if any dental problems arise. If you are experiencing any difficulties or pain, we highly recommend that you arrange an appointment with your dentist promptly.

We recommend that new patients receive a full-mouth series of dental X-rays. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.