Usually, when you get x-rays, it’s because something has gone wrong. One minute, you are walking down the stairs, and the next minute, you are on the ground, broken wrist at your side. You travel to the emergency room, and you get an x-ray to determine when something is broken. However, things are a little different in dentistry. We use x-rays as a preventative measure, and to work on little problems in your mouth before they become big problems. One of the latest tools in our tool belt is digital radiography. With digital radiography, we can get a good look at your mouth. Let tell you about the wonders of digital radiography.
What Does Digital Radiography Mean?
Until recently, dental x-rays hadn’t changed much from when they were first invented in the last century. You would come into the office, sit in a chair, and bite down on some film. Sometimes, we have to take the x-ray multiple times before we are sure it is right. Not to mention, x-rays used to take forever to be developed. Also, yearly x-rays mean you would get radiation in your body, which is not a good thing. However, times have changed. Digital radiography means we can get images quickly and see them immediately. We also can see clearly all of your mouth- all at one time: your teeth, gums, palate, and jawbones can be checked. Digital radiography also uses far less radiation than regular x-rays.
How Does Digital Radiography Work?
We can take digital x-rays in two different ways. In some cases, we might combine the techniques to give the best, most clear view possible. Intraoral x-rays give us information about your teeth, gums, and jaw bones. These x-rays are taken in a familiar way. You will be asked to bite down on something so we can take pictures of your teeth. In addition to the traditional bitewing x-rays, we also might take periapical x-rays if you are having trouble with a tooth or several teeth. Periapical x-rays take a look at specific teeth, which all of the tooth structures between the crown and jawbone. It may be that we order this x-ray because we need to see if a tooth is infected, or we suspect gum disease.
Another type of x-ray helps us see issues with your jaws as a whole, from the outside of your mouth instead of the inside. We use extraoral x-rays to check for problems with your jaw, such as impacted teeth. Extraoral x-rays can also spot problems with your temporomandibular joint, which works to open and close your jaw. The extraoral machine is very cool. It rotates around your head to take pictures. Extraoral x-rays can also give us a panoramic view of your jaw- all in one picture.
We are really excited to offer digital radiography at our office because it is just another tool in our arsenal to help us keep you healthy. Want to know more about how we use digital radiography? Give Lincoln Center Smiles a call at (971) 317-9499.