What is a Digital X-Ray?
X-rays are focused beams of radiation particles that pass through bone and tissue to produce a digital image on a special film. Since different kinds of tissue absorb radiation differently, you can clearly see the inside of your body. This creates the familiar black-and-white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and diseases that are occurring inside your body.
Without an X-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires professional attention. For instance, did you know that more than 50% of cavities in the back of clients’ mouths go undetected? Save yourself from the expense of avoidable fillings and costly dental services by taking advantage of our digital X-ray services at Gulf Coast Dental.
Why Use Digital X-Rays?
Digital radiography uses less than half the radiation of conventional film X-rays. Not only is less radiation involved, but the image is made available much faster. This type of X-ray uses a digital image capture device rather than traditional film, sending the final image immediately to a computer. In dentistry, the result is a highly detailed image of the mouth.
The contrast and resolution of a digital image can be enhanced to more easily diagnose dental problems and determine the very best treatment for each case. By having access to a digital image, your dentist can receive a more accurate picture of your teeth and gums.
How Often Should I Get A Digital X-Ray?
Your dentist can make the best recommendation for how often a digital X-ray should be performed. This is largely based on your medical history and your dental needs. However, most healthy adult patients will only need them at yearly dental check-ups.
Typically, children need them more frequently to keep track of their tooth development and jaw growth as they age. Oftentimes, dental issues can be identified easily with the help of X-rays, then your dentist can work with you to determine the best treatment plan. From identifying cavities and tracking tooth growth to preparing for braces or oral surgery, digital X-rays have many advantages!
Different Types Of X-rays
Our office can provide different types of X-rays to give you the ideal treatment for your oral health. We can use intraoral X-rays or extraoral X-rays to identify issues throughout your jaw, teeth and mouth.
Types of intraoral X-rays include:
- Bitewing X-rays show details of one section of the upper and lower teeth. Each bitewing shows a tooth from its exposed surface (crown) to the supporting bone. Bitewing X-rays detect tooth decay and signs of gum disease. They can also help determine the proper fit of a crown or other restorations. Your dentist can also use these X-rays to see any wear of your dental fillings.
- Periapical X-rays show a deeper view of a tooth from its crown beyond the root. This type of X-ray helps detect root damage and bone loss.
- Occlusal X-rays help your dentist track tooth development in either the upper or lower jaw. They’re also used to detect abscesses, cysts and growths.
Types of extraoral include:
- Panoramic X-rays show the whole upper and lower dental region in one image. These X-rays help dentists plan for implants, detect jaw problems and identify tumors and sinusitis.
- Multi-slice computed tomography (MCT). This X-ray shows a narrow selection of the mouth. This helps your dentist examine parts of your mouth that are otherwise difficult to see.
- Cephalometric projections show an entire side of the head. This X-ray looks at the teeth in relation to the jaw and profile of the individual. Orthodontists use this X-ray to develop each patient’s specific teeth realignment approach.
Gulf Coast Dental Uses Digital X-Rays
When using a digital X-ray, your dentist can see the detailed structure inside of your teeth. A Digital X-Ray highlights the roots and what contact areas are found between your teeth, allowing your dentist to make the best possible recommendation for your dental needs. If any of your teeth have an infection, your dentist can use a digital x-ray to track this infection and plan a more effective, preventative treatment than if it goes undiagnosed. For instance, a digital X-ray can show if a wisdom tooth is impacted or if it needs monitoring before removal.
Gulf Coast Dental uses Digital X-Rays to bring the highest quality dental services to our patients. Call today to learn more!