Digital X-Rays: Your Dental Detective
Good dentistry takes detective work. Of all the special tools we have that help us detect potential problems, the most effective is the radiograph, or x-ray. You might think of an x-ray as a dental detective, as it magnifies what the eye can’t see, exposing tooth decay that hides between teeth, under the gumline, or under fillings and caps. An x-ray can also reveal bone loss caused by gum disease, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and even early signs of cancer. Our rule of thumb? It’s always easier and less expensive to prevent or treat dental disease in the early stages than it is later when it can cause serious damage.
X-rays have been an essential part of dentistry for decades. Taking these images allows us, your dentist in McKinney, to accurately diagnose and treat problems. Without them, it would be impossible for our team to see inside of and between your teeth, both of which are areas not visible during your routine dental exam.
The mid 1980’s saw the introduction of digital dental x-rays on the clinical scene. Nearly all dental practices today rely on digital imaging to take their patients’ x-rays as it offers many important advantages.
- A digital x-ray emits a special low-level radiation similar to the type of background radiation you receive from the sun, the earth’s crust, various types of food, and even the air we breathe.
- Unlike film-based x-rays, digital x-rays do not require chemical film processing, therefore, there’s…
- no harmful environmental waste
- results are instantly available
- enlargement for clarification is easy (and there’s no distortion)
- we can use them as teaching aids, helping us to explain the situation to you
- easily emailed to your insurance company
- efficiently stored in our records and recall is quick.
How do we take digital x-rays?
For dental patients, taking a digital x-ray is much like taking a film x-ray. We’ll adjust the x-ray machine into the correct position to capture a specific part of your mouth.
Types of digital x-rays:
1. Bitewing – You’ll bite down on a special paper. The x-ray shows us how well your teeth match up. It’s ideal for detecting cavities in between teeth.
2. Occlusal – Taken with a closed jaw, the occlusal x-ray reveals how your top and bottom teeth line up. It can also show us abnormalities in the mouth floor and the palate.
3. Periapical – The purpose of this x-ray is on two complete teeth, crown to root.
In short, digital radiography is highly accurate, fast, efficient, clean, and safe to use. If you have questions about your “dental detective,” ask us, your dentist in McKinney! Call Serene Dentistry at 469-352-9859 today!