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Diagnostics & Prevention
Digital X-Rays

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Digital X-Rays

Digital x-rays are also called digital radiography and are current technology that takes the place of dental x-rays done on film. An electronic sensor is used instead of the film to capture and store the same kind of image in a digital form. The image is available for immediate viewing and can be enlarged and manipulated to help the dentist and hygienist see problems better. Digital x-rays involve 80 to 90 percent less radiation that traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are an essential preventative and diagnostic tool that give dental professionals valuable information to use in treatment. This information is used to help find dental abnormalities that are hidden from view so an accurate treatment plan can be created. Without x-rays, some problems may not be detected.

Dental x-rays can help find:
  • Cysts or abscesses
  • Loss of bone
  • Noncancerous and cancerous tumors
  • Decay between teeth
  • Development abnormalities
  • Poor tooth or root positioning
  • Issues below the gum line
  • Issues inside teeth
Finding and treating dental issues early can save money, time and prevent discomfort -- and reduce the chance of losing teeth.

Are x-rays safe?

Everyone is exposed to radiation from the environment as a part of normal life. Today’s digital x-rays involve significantly less radiation than traditional x-rays. In addition to being healthier, they are also more comfortable to take and quicker. The electronic image is also created without the use of harmful chemicals and generates no waste. Plus, the image can be manipulated.

Even though the radiation involved in dental x-rays is very low, precautions are still taken to control your exposure. These include limiting the use of x-rays and putting a lead apron on you to shield the rest of the body.

How are often should digital x-rays be done?

The frequency of dental x-rays depends on your specific dental health needs, and your dentist or hygienist will recommend them to you when necessary based on your dental and medical history. These professionals will also do additional x-rays if an exam, symptoms, age or disease risk indicate it.

For new patients, a full mouth series of x-rays is always recommended and does not need to be repeated for three to five years. Bitewing x-rays of just the top and bottom biting teeth are taken once or twice a year during regular dental visits.

To get your Digital X-rays taken, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS.