It’s safe to say that dental X-rays have transformed the way dentists all over the world respond to common oral ailments. X-rays have helped us do away with guesswork and made dental care easier and more prevention-focused. Imaging essentially saves millions of dollars in advanced treatments each year. More importantly, they prevent more advanced procedures by being able to treat issues while they’re small.
With advancements in imaging and digital technology, modern X-rays have replaced traditional radiographs of years past. These digital X-rays substantially reduce the amount of radiation by almost 90%, making them a much safer option for the modern dental patient. To further eliminate scatter radiation, we use a protective lead apron as an additional precaution.
High resolution imaging is a safe way to monitor and diagnose treatment for all ages of patients. Without them, it’s like practicing dentistry blindfolded.
Efficient Care and Treatment Planning
Dental X-rays use electronic sensors that transmit an image within a split second, directly to a computer monitor that can be viewed in the clinical room. This process eliminated the waiting time that was required to process X-rays in dark rooms and chemicals. These digital radiographs offer a superior image quality that’s easily enhanced and adjusted for further diagnostics. Since they don’t need to be printed out, we can easily zoom in and out of particular mouth areas and view even the tiniest portions of teeth.
We strive to involve our patients in their treatment decisions and make them aware of the exact dental issues that they are facing. Digital X-rays allow us to bring these images up on a screen next to the patient, so that you can participate in and co-plan your care alongside of us. You see the same thing that we do.
Screening for “Invisible” Issues
Be it your teeth, roots below the gum line, or the bone around your roots, dental X-rays are the only possible way to screen for issues that might otherwise be invisible during a physical oral exam. Cutting-edge technology helps us screen for bone deformities, decay underneath the chewing surfaces or between teeth, gum disease, impacted teeth, and more.
Bitewings vs. PAs
In order to ensure excellent oral health for a long time, we use different types of X-rays to evaluate various aspects of your smile.
For instance, bitewing X-rays are recommended around once each year to check for cavities, buildup, or minor bone loss between your back teeth. If you’re at a high risk for tooth decay, we may recommend taking them more often.
In case you are coming with a dental emergency or pain in a specific teeth, we wll take a Periapical (PA) film. This X-ray shows the tooth and its entire tooth. Pas are the best way to detect an injury, abscesses, bone loss, fracture, or gum disease.
Full Mouth X-rays
Our Mesa family dentist occasionally orders other X-ray options such as a Panorex/Panoramic, which is a full mouth x-ray that’s used to see your entire mouth and jaws at one time. It is an important tool for us to look at areas other x-rays don’t reach. They reveal tumors, sinus-related issues, wisdom teeth, impacted teeth or orthodontic concerns, and bone anatomy.
Sometimes other options such as CT scans are also ordered. Especially if we need to conduct an in-depth dental examination for something like implant therapy
Depending on your age and oral health needs, full mouth X-rays are usually taken every 3-5 years as a baseline for your oral health.
Easy Communication with Other Specialist
Since digital X-rays are in an electronic file, they can be transferred within a matter of seconds. This helps if we need to refer you to a specialist for advanced diagnostics. Or maybe you’re moving across the country and need to see another dentist and want them transferred. Or perhaps we need to submit proof of a treatment when filing an insurance claim; your electronic file can easily be attached.
Don’t Remember When You Had X-rays Last?
At Eastport Dental, prevention is our mission. X-rays are the most effective diagnostic tool when it comes to detecting oral abnormalities or screening for concerns. By detecting trouble early, you minimize the need for invasive and expensive treatments that could have been addressed with something simple. Preserve tooth structure, avoid painful emergencies, and reduce treatment costs.
If you’re not sure when you had dental X-rays last, it’s time for a screening.
Schedule your comprehensive exam with Mesa dentist, Dr. Huynh, today.