How do digital X-rays help me?
Digital X-rays, also called digital radiography, allow us to detect developing problems in underlying oral structures. Images from X-rays can reveal bone loss, tooth position, tooth root health, decay, tumors, cysts, and other abnormalities that indicate a potential problem. Dr. Gross will display the images on a chair-side monitor so that you have a visual aid as he explains his diagnoses and procedures. The better you understand your oral health and treatment recommendations, the more prepared you’ll be to make intelligent decisions about care.
Are X-rays safe?
Digital radiography exposes our patients to 90% less radiation than traditional X-rays, and it is also faster and more efficient. Since chemical processing is not necessary, digital X-ray images are immediately viewable. This eliminates chemical processing waste, which is good for environmental health.
Some patients may still be concerned about radiation exposure from X-rays. Most people do not know that throughout the day, we are all exposed to radiation from common sources, such as the sun, soil, and even the bricks in our homes. We also use fast film that requires less exposure time, so that an entire series of oral X-rays doesn’t exceed exposure that we would normally encounter in a day. Rest assured, we take every precaution to ensure your safety. We will provide lead aprons to protect your organs from the minimal amount radiation required for capturing X-rays.
How frequently are X-rays required?
Frequency of X-rays largely depends on the oral health of the patient and his or her individual needs. For new patients, we often require full-mouth X-rays. They provide a comprehensive look at overall oral health. For current patients, we normally retake full-mouth X-rays every three to five years.
Bitewing X-rays are recommended once or twice a year. They provide us with a view of your top and bottom teeth, their roots, and jawbone health. Bitewing X-rays are especially useful for detecting emerging dental problems, such as decay or fractures.
Some cosmetic or restorative procedures may require a preliminary X-ray to determine variables that could affect the procedure. For instance, Dr. Gross can determine which type of dental implant will be effective, and whether prerequisite procedures are necessary, by reviewing an X-ray of your jawbone.