Digital radiography, or digital x-rays is the method we use to help us detect abnormalities or issues below the surface. In the past, dentists had to rely on x-rays that required film development. Today in our office we are able to take digital x-rays which have multiple benefits.
Digital x-rays have a benefit of lower ration levels. Traditional x-rays already had low radiation exposure but going digital further lowered exposure by up to 90%. The use of an electronic sensor instead of x-ray film to capture the image allows us to instantly see the results so we can either retake a blurry image or move on to your oral exam without having to wait for development. Having the images be digital instead of film also allows your dentist and hygienist to enlarge the image for a better view.
Digital x-rays are a diagnostic tool that is necessary for dentists to see what is going on below the surface. Without these images, some issues may go undetected such as:
Detecting these issues as soon as possible could save you money, pain, time, and maybe even your life in extreme cases.
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment every single day. Digital X-rays produce less radiation than their film counterparts as well as less disposable waste. Every year your body is exposed to 3.1 millisieverts (mSv) of natural radiation. The radiation you receive from dental x-rays is about 0.005 mSv.
Even with this low level of radiation we take extra precautions to limit your exposure further. We only take x-rays that are necessary and use lead apron shields.
The need for dental x-rays is individual to each patient’s needs. Your dentist will determine your need depending on your medical history, symptoms, and risk.
For new patients we usually recommend a full series of dental x-rays, followed by necessary x-rays at your cleanings once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.