Computer Digital Radiography (CDR)
Dental x-rays can now be taken using sensors
that transmit the image directly into a computer
monitor. This larger image helps the patient understand
the doctor's explanations more easily and enables
the doctor to "zoom in" on a specific
area of the tooth. An important advantage to this
new technology is that it reduces the amount of
radiation by 90%. Digital x-rays are also faster.
The digital image only takes 20 seconds to appear
in the monitor. In addition, this new technology
is friendly to the environment since no chemicals
are needed for developing the image.
What are Dental X-rays?
What most people call X-rays are actually X-ray
photographs (also known as radiographs). An image
is made using X-rays, which are similar to sunlight,
but of a shorter wavelength, and able to show
us what's below the surface of a tooth. Even though
we call them X-rays, we are actually referring
to the image created by X-rays.
Why are Dental X-rays Necessary?
X-rays are the only way to identify problems that aren't
externally visible. X-rays are very essential in doing
a complete and thorough dental examination. They are
especially important in diagnosing serious conditions
early to allow for effective treatment before
you experience discomfort. X-rays show bone anatomy
and density, decay between
the teeth or how extensive the decay is, whether an
abscess is present, impacted
teeth, or if children have permanent teeth.
No cavity on first x-ray.
Months later, cavities that
start between the teeth can't be seen by visual
examination, but they can be detected on an x-ray.
This cavity was detected and filled before the patient
felt any discomfort, and before the nerve became infected
or the tooth became abscessed.
There is another cavity shown in the X-ray on the right.
Can you find it? It's difficult for the untrained eye
to spot. Click here to see where it is. (Hint: It's not the
left edge of the top left tooth. That's just the edge of the
frame around the X-ray).
How Often Do I Need Dental X-rays?
The number and type of X-rays you will need depends
on several factors such as age, current dental health,
and external signs that may trigger a cause for concern.
We are sensitive, however, to your concerns about exposure
to radiation, and we only perform those X-ray procedures
that are necessary for your continued dental health.
Still Have Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns about dental
X-rays, feel free to discuss them with any of our staff.
They are highly trained in the prudent and effective
use of dental X-rays and share your concerns about exposure
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