X-rays are fundamental for evaluating your overall oral health, which is why they are normally covered by dental insurance. With x-rays, Dr. Pinnix or Dr. Betancourt can diagnose a range of oral health concerns. These issues include decay, misalignment, impacted teeth, jawbone recession, and more.
At Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we proudly use digital radiography, rather than traditional film x-rays. Digital systems produce much less radiation, so they will not compromise your overall health. The images are also more accurate, so your dentist can provide more timely diagnoses.
How Do Digital X-Rays Work?
There are two primary types of digital dental x-rays. Intraoral x-rays result in very detailed images of individual teeth. Extraoral images will show your entire mouth and jaw structure. A digital x-ray system emits safe beams of energy. These rays are less invasive, but no less effective, than stronger traditional x-rays.
Digital systems emit up to 80 percent less radiation than traditional x-ray machines.
Soft tissues, such as skin, muscles, and ligaments, cannot absorb x-ray light. Therefore, the x-ray energy will pass through your body, striking a digital sensor on the other side. Conversely, metal does absorb x-rays. The calcium found in hard tissues is considered a metal. Therefore, your teeth and bones will not be able to absorb the light. Accordingly, they will leave a dark shadow on the x-ray image. Your dentist will examine the clearer negative, which is why your hard tissues will appear white.
Applications for Digital Dental X-Rays
Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt use digital x-rays to perform a wide array of functions and to diagnose underlying health issues. The uses of digital x-rays include:
- Providing scans of your jawbone to diagnose bone recession
- Providing images of your entire mouth to detect misalignment or damage to jaw joints
- Showing incoming teeth to determine if you have enough room
- Diagnosing an impacted wisdom tooth
- Revealing hidden decay
- Enabling earlier diagnoses and more accurate treatment
- Often preventing the need for more extensive treatment
The Benefits of Digital X-Rays
Digital and traditional x-rays work similarly. However, digital imaging has several unique advantages over older systems. These benefits include:
- Less radiation: Digital systems emit up to 80 percent less radiation than traditional x-ray machines.
- Better image quality: Digital x-rays produce images that are both larger and sharper than film x-rays. We are also able to zoom in on these images. Therefore, Dr. Pinnix and Dr. Betancourt can diagnose dental problems more quickly and accurately than they could in the past.
- Conservative: With faster diagnoses, your dentist can often perform less invasive treatments. For example, catching decay in the early stages, he can usually place a simple filling, rather than a full dental crown.
- Efficient: Digital x-rays are faster than film x-rays. As a result, your appointments will be quicker, and you can get back to your routine as soon as possible.
- Digital archiving: We can store and access digital x-rays more easily than we can film images. In addition, we can quickly share them with other healthcare professionals when necessary. Finally, we can show you the images so that you can make more informed choices regarding your dental treatment.
- More environmentally friendly: Digital imaging does not require any developing agents or products and greatly reduces chemical waste.
- Affordable: X-rays are essential for your oral health. Therefore, both standard and digital x-rays are typically covered by insurance.
The significant benefits of digital x-rays ensure our patients can receive the best level of care during every visit.