Digital X-rays are a diagnostic tool necessary to aid the dentist is determining the health of hard tissue in the mouth. Dental x-rays are a useful tool to use in concert with a visual exam to prevent dental problems, maintain healthy gum tissue, and diagnosis any oral health issues including dental caries. There are two types of diagnostic x-rays that can be taken in a dental office. Intraoral x-rays are the most helpful in determining cavities and determining the health of the root and surrounding bone levels. With digital x-rays a sensor is placed in the mouth and the x-ray is taken with the image almost immediately being directed on a computer screen. Extraoral x-rays are performed with the x-ray scanning the outside of the area of interest. One of the most common types of extraoral digital x-rays available in a general dentist's office would be the panoramic x-ray. The purpose of this type of x-ray is to focus on the development of the teeth and bone in the jaw, determine the position and existence of third molars, and help in diagnosis and treatment of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues.
Many benefits exist for the patient in having digital x-rays taken in the dental office instead of conventional film based x-rays. As mentioned earlier, the ability to produce the dental image seconds after the x-ray is taken for faster treatment and diagnosis of dental issues. This technology is particularly beneficial during endodontic treatment when multiple x-rays may be taken to determine the file and fill lengths during a root canal. In addition, the reduction of radiation exposure for the patient is a dramatic advantage. The digital x-ray image produced can be manipulated with dental software by using contrast techniques to aid in diagnosis of dental problems. The advent of digital x-rays also allows the process of transferring x-rays between offices to be faster and more efficient.
The need and frequency of digital x-rays for a patient is dependent on the health and clinical history of each individual. For new patients entering a dental practice, it is important for the dentist to determine a baseline from which to to compare changes in oral health as time progresses. This new patient set of x-rays may include a full mouth set of x-rays and / or a panoramic x-ray and 4 bitewing x-rays. This x-ray series will help to create a reference starting point for future treatment. Future maintenance x-rays will be determined according to the consistency of care and health of the individual's mouth. For proper dental care, digital x-rays provide an optimal tool to aid your dentist in providing the best possible care to maintain your oral health.
When you visit the dentist, in some cases you will require a dental x-ray done. This is especially if you are visiting the dentist for the first time. This check-up procedure is vital and it will help in determining the treatment that you will require for your teeth. It, therefore, becomes vital that you understand what this procedure seeks to identify and how this figures into your treatment plan.
They provide a picture of your teeth
The check-up x-rays allow your dentist to examine your teeth underneath the gum. Without this picture, the dentist can only see a third of your teeth. If there are any underlying conditions in the root and middle part of your teeth, only an x-ray can show this. The conditions that the x-ray will point out include cavities, impacted teeth, and tooth decay. They are able to show abscesses and any other problem that is beneath your gum. From the image, the dentist can know which treatment plan to follow that will provide the solution to your dental issue.
They come in various types
The various types of x-rays will give a different image of your teeth. Each type serves a different function and it helps to diagnose different conditions. Some such as bitewing seeks for interdental cavities by looking at how the crowns line up. Others offer a full picture of the teeth while others help in identifying problems that go beyond the teeth to cover the jaw and palate. The type you get will depend on what the dentist wants to find out about your teeth.
They are low risk
The x-rays use a low emission of radiation making them safe to use. Thanks to new technology, they have become safer and the results come in after a short while. You, therefore, do not have to worry about the health risks involved in getting such an intimate x-ray shot off your mouth. The risk becomes even lower when the dentist protects other parts of the body from the radiation. You will have peace of mind as you get the procedure done. In any case, the exposure is minimal as it does not take a long time to get it done.
They need not be frequent
The frequency of the x-rays will depend on their necessity. However, for adults that do not have any issues with the teeth, once a year is enough. Growing children and those on a treatment plan require more frequent x-rays. Children’s teeth are growing and it is important to check whether they are growing right. The x-rays will help to do this. If you are under a treatment plan, occasional x-rays will point out the effectiveness of the treatment.[Top]