Dentistry has witnessed some incredible advances over the years that have improved the ability of our profession to deliver a higher quality of care for our patients. Several examples include the air driven dental drill, light-cured composites for dental filling materials, and the intra-oral camera which offers the patient a visual aid to view oral conditions inside their mouth.
However, the introduction of the dental digital X-ray has probably offered one of the greatest contributions in modern times. Digital X-rays quickly capture images of your teeth and gums. They are stored on a computer, which contributes to faster imaging and added ease when transferring X-rays between your various healthcare providers. Digital X-rays also provide greater diagnostic capabilities with software technology that prevails over conventional X-rays.
Digital Dental X-rays can reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Several years ago, our office converted to digital X-rays because we could see the value that this equipment offered to our patients. Studies have shown that although conventional X-rays have drastically reduced radiation exposure, digital X-rays cut this exposure by an additional 80 – 90%. Additionally, digital X-rays are safer for the environment because they require no disposal of harmful waste chemicals since the images are captured electronically.
As a biological dentist (also known as a holistic dentist), one of our major concerns is to consistently reduce any unnecessary or harmful exposures to chemicals, heavy metals, toxins, or radiation levels that may compromise or hinder the overall health and wellness of our patients. That is why digital X-rays became a necessity for our office.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended in our office once per year to detect new or hidden dental problems.