At Lincoln Smiles, we believe that proper dental care requires an understanding of the whole mouth and jaw. While x-rays have assisted dentists for some time, technology has advanced to digital radiography which is extremely useful in identifying and diagnosing oral health problems, including conditions that may otherwise go undetected.
What Is Digital Radiography?
Explained simply, digital radiography refers to x-rays that provide instant results as well as larger, clearer images with increased precision and accuracy than does traditional x-ray film. Digital x-rays may be taken inside the mouth, called intraoral, or outside the mouth, called extraoral, depending on the parts of your mouth we wish to see.
Digital radiography allows for manipulation of the images to better detect and treat any dental problems you may have. Your results are available almost immediately and can then be adjusted for a better view. Enlarged images as well as changes in brightness, color, and contrast provides a clearer picture of your dental health. Not only does this benefit us as your dental care providers, but it also makes it easier to point out and explain your diagnosis and treatment to you.
The most commonly taken dental x-ray is done inside the mouth to detect cavities and to monitor tooth development and bone health. We are able to view changes in bone density, fit you for crowns or restorations, and identify abnormalities in bone structure with these intraoral images.
Although extraoral x-rays provide less detail than their intraoral counterparts, they also come with benefits that traditional x-rays do not. Extraoral x-rays are helpful in detecting impacted teeth, planning for dental implants, and identifying problems in the jaw or other facial bones.
Other problems digital x-rays can help us detect include, among others, tooth infections, unerupted teeth that may need to be extracted, existing or developing gum disease, and any oral damage or trauma that may have occurred.
An added benefit of digital x-rays is that while traditional x-rays expose you to very little radiation, the digital version further reduces your exposure.
What Can I Expect During A Digital X-Ray?
X-rays are usually taken prior to cleaning your teeth, as they aid us in determining what care you require. First, we will place a lead apron over your chest to protect you from the radiation. Then we will put a scanner inside your mouth and have you bite down on a small piece of plastic. The images are taken with a click of a button while we stand in a protective area. We may change your position or the position of the plastic piece and take more than one x-ray. The results are then displayed on a screen and shown to you. We will point out any problems or potential problems as well as provide tips on how to improve your oral hygiene routine.
The frequency of your dental x-rays depends on several factors, including your age, the state of your oral health, and your dental and medical histories.
Detecting and treating oral health problems early saves time, money, and discomfort in the long run, and the use of digital radiography allows Lincoln Smiles to do just that. Call us at 916-543-8800 today to schedule your appointment.