These days, it’s all digital—from the music we stream to the way we pay for our cappuccinos at Starbucks. Well, the dentist office is no different. Today, we’re pleased to use digital x-rays, a technological advancement that improves your dental appointments in a number of ways.
What Are Digital X-Rays?
Digital x-rays allow us to take a picture and then view your teeth instantly on our monitors. Afterwards, the dental x-ray is stored safely and electronically in our records for easy access.
How Do Digital X-Rays Differ From Traditional X-Rays?
Digital x-rays are less cumbersome than traditional x-rays. Whereas digital x-rays can be viewed immediately, the film used by traditional x-rays needs to be taken to a dark room to be developed. Unfortunately, this takes extra time, and it also requires the use of environmentally-unfriendly chemicals.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe?
Digital x-rays are extremely safe and only expose patients to very low levels of radiation. Compared with traditional x-rays, digital x-rays emit 90% less radiation, making them a much safer option.
To put the radiation exposure you receive from dental x-rays into perspective, radiation occurs naturally in our environment. It’s in the air, our food supply, the water, and home building materials. You’re exposed to 2 mrem (radiation unit of measurement) of radiation a year just from sleeping next to your spouse! By contrast, a dental x-ray typically exposes you to between 2-3 mrem.
How Do Digital X-Rays Improve My Dental Appointment?
Digital x-rays improve your visit in a number of ways:
- Shorter Appointments – Because we don’t need to head to the lab to develop your x-ray film, appointments are much quicker.
- Greater Accuracy – Digital x-rays provide a significantly clearer image than traditional x-rays. Therefore, Dr. Sanyk receives a better picture of what’s going on in your mouth and can treat your oral health issues proactively. This means that rather than potential problems worsening over time, they can be identified and resolved earlier. As a result, dental procedures tend to be less invasive, saving you time, cost, and pain.
- Less Radiation Exposure – While traditional dental x-rays are safe, digital x-rays expose you to even less radiation.
How Often Should I Get Digital X-Rays?
We determine the frequency of x-ray exposure on a case-by-case basis, utilizing the American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines. Generally speaking, we take x-rays with new patients during their first visit to get a baseline and follow those up with additional images annually for comparison and to track changes.
We will determine x-ray frequency based on your age, the state of your teeth and gums, and your overall health. We recommend that you follow the specific x-ray recommendations we offer you, so you can receive the best possible dental care.