Digital X-Rays

Digital X-Rays in Redwood City, CA, by Advanced Dentistry

Digital dental radiographic records or "digital x-rays" are the latest technology used to take dental x-rays.  This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer.  This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier.  Digital radiographs reduce radiation by up to 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental radiographs.

Dental radiographs are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without radiographs, problem areas may go undetected.

Digital dental radiographic records may 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.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are digital dental radiographs safe?

Yes!  Extremely safe.  With digital radiography our patients are exposed to the lowest levels of radiation possible.  Studies have shown that digital radiographs produce 80% - 90% less radiation exposure than traditional film radiographs.  Not only are digital records better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office.

These images are also more diagnostic and are better at detecting dental disease and common oral problems than traditional film radiography.  With a click of the button, the images can be e-mailed to the patient or to a referred specialist eliminating the risk of losing the records.  Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital x-rays produce very low levels of radiation and are considered very safe, we still take every precaution to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation.  These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.  The amount of radiation exposure to the patient from a full mouth series of 18 digital x-rays is equivalent to 5 minutes of the natural radiation we are exposed to in our environment on a daily basis.

What kind of dental radiographic records should be taken?

A full mouth series of 18 individual digital radiographs is required for all new adult patients to aid in the detection and diagnosis of common dental problems such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, abscesses, or failing restorations.  A thorough comprehensive examination can not be completed without this full series of radiographs.  This full series of 18 digital radiographs may need to be updated every three years.

A digital panoramic radiograph is a digital record of the entire mouth and jaw and will allow the doctor to evaluate oral structures not captured in the full mouth series of radiographs.  The most common types of pathology that may be detected with this record are cancerous or pre-cancerous tumors, cysts, arthrosclerotic plaques, jaw joint degeneration or deterioration,  developmental abnormalities, missing or extra teeth and abnormal loss of bone.  This record will be recommended for all patients who:

  • Have no record of a panoramic radiograph in the last five years.
  • Have their 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) or are planning to have them removed. 
  • Are edentulous (have no teeth) or are partially edentulous.
  • Are planning to have orthodontic treatment or dental implants placed.
  • Have signs or symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) or jaw joint pain or problems. 
  • Have a past history of smoking, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Are under the age of 18 to monitor the eruption of teeth and proper development of the jaw.

Bite-wing radiographic records (radiographs of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at routine periodontal maintenance (check-up) visits and are taken once or twice a year to help detect new dental problems.

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Advanced Dentistry | 3401 El Camino Real Atherton, California 94027

Phone: (650) 474-0551