You are probably familiar with having x-rays taken during dental exams. These images enable us to diagnose and create treatment plans for many different oral health issues that are not readily visible to the naked eye. Thanks to the development of x-ray technology, dentists have been able to prevent serious complications and save numerous teeth. At Tim Perry, DDS, we are able to take these images using digital radiography.
The Advantages of Digital Radiography
Digital radiography has vastly improved how we can take images of your mouth. Rather than using an uncomfortable film in your mouth, we use an electronic sensor. This sensor is small and much more comfortable. Rather than having to develop your x-rays in a darkroom using chemicals, your x-rays show up almost instantly on our computer. There’s no waiting around.
Moreover, the fact that we don’t need to use chemicals makes the whole process more environmentally friendly. Because we don’t need to develop the x-rays, there is no risk of overexposure, which means you do not have to worry about requiring additional images. The x-rays we do take can be manipulated in multiple ways, which then allows for greater accuracy and improved treatment. Finally, radiation exposure is greatly reduced with digital radiography.
Forms of Digital Radiography
The most common types of digital x-rays are those that are taken inside of your mouth. These are also called intraoral x-rays and are the images that most people think of when they imagine x-rays. There are a few different types of intraoral x-rays, and the type we take will depend upon whether we are taking the images as a part of your routine dental exam or if we are trying to diagnose a specific issue.
There are also what are known as extraoral x-rays, or x-rays that are taken from the outside of your mouth. These types of x-rays are not as commonly used. Instead, they are used in certain situations, such as determining the need for a bone graft before dental implants.
How Often Are X-Rays Needed?
Typically, dental x-rays are taken once a year. Your frequency, however, will depend upon your age, your predisposition to certain oral health conditions, and if you are experiencing symptoms of an oral health issue. Based on your needs, we can help to determine how often you will need images taken.
How Safe are Digital X-Rays?
We understand that many patients are concerned about getting dental x-rays taken, even digital ones. We take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety when taking your images.
Should Women Who are Pregnant Get X-Rays?
While digital x-rays are considered to be very safe, it is generally recommended that women who are pregnant do not have them done. There may be certain cases in which the images will be needed, but in most cases, x-rays should wait until after the birth of your child. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is important that you let us know so that we can tailor your treatments accordingly.
Digital radiography has greatly improved how we provide you with the care you need. For more information, call Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.