Here at Smile Family Dentistry we provide digital radiography services for the benefit of patients. This modern reworking of an old technology allows for faster processing of patient x-rays than traditional radiography. The dentist may use this technology to scan for cavities between your teeth during your dental exam.
There is not a lot of difference between traditional and digital radiography. Traditional radiography always relies on film to produce their photograph of your bones – or radiograph. During both processes, this picture will be produced, but when there is no film required to take it the process is referred to as digital radiography instead. Much like other sources of digital media, your x-ray results can then be digitally stored as images. These can be used for future dental exams, so the dentist has an accurate overview of your oral health.
Digital x-rays are printable, have excellent picture quality, and are much faster than traditional radiography. Remote viewing is also possible with digital radiography, so you may still access your x-rays even from home. The high-resolution images produced show the structure of your bones in greater resolution than traditional radiography.
Dental Surgeries and Digital Radiography
When you are attending your dental exam, the dentist may wish to take a digital x-ray of your mouth. This will help the dentist detect diseases, cavities, and other potential problems. The dentist may take an x-ray of the inside of your mouth or the outside of your mouth. In most instances, the dentist will give you a mouthpiece known as a bitewing for you to grip between your teeth. This device holds your mouth at the correct angle for the x-ray to pick up all of the necessary areas of your mouth.
The dentist might decide to take a digital x-ray from the outside of your mouth. In some cases, the x-ray machine will rotate around you; in others you will be asked to sit still while the machine is put into place. Digital x-rays can be used to identify issues with your bone structure, salivary gland blockages, problems with gaps between teeth, and can even detect tumors.
What to Expect
If the dentist decides that you need digital radiography, they will explain the process to you before they begin. Usually, you will be taken to a separate room that houses the x-ray. If not, the dentist will set up the machine and step out of the room to take the radiograph. The radiation used in radiography is not harmful, but repeated exposure can cause health problems. When dentists take several x-rays a day they then become at risk. The radiograph will cause no harm to you.
You will either be given a bitewing or instructed as to where and how to hold your head. The dentist will step out of the room. You may notice a flash and hear a whirring noise but this is normal. Once the image has been acquired it will be a few short minutes before it is ready to be viewed. The dentist can then magnify it, expand it, highlight sections of it, and attach it to your file for future reference.
If there is anything to be concerned about, we will talk you through these issues. If you would like any further information about digital radiography then call us at Smile Family Dentistry at 925-825-1130 and speak with our experts.