One of the most important parts of pre-assessment for any dental procedure is getting a dental x-ray. This enables the dentist to reliably diagnose cavities and other issues that are not visible to the naked eye. By providing digital x-rays, we offer our patients all the benefits of a dental x-ray, but without the massive amounts of radiation that is usually associated with it.
Rather than bombarding soft tissue and teeth with radiation aimed at x-ray film to develop a shadow image of the mouth, digital X-rays replace the film with an electronic sensor. This requires much lower radiation levels to create an image while also providing more precise imagery of the patient’s mouth.
This lessened radiation exposure was developed under the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). Digital X-rays were developed to minimize the use of radiation as much as possible while still providing the vital diagnostic tool. This lessened radiation exposure is not only good for patients health, but is also good for the environment as it creates less radioactive waste. This reduction of material also is a cost saving measure that has made digital x-rays a wise investment for medical practices as although the initial investment cost is high, the saved materials over time quickly pay off the cost of the modern equipment. Some practices will offer both services and it is recommended that you ask your doctor or dentist which form of X-rays they provide, and ensure you are receiving the digital x-ray, which will usually be the default as it costs less money per procedure and has health benefits.
Digital x-rays are so sensitive that they can reveal conditions not observable with traditional x-rays, and images are immediately available so the dentist can assess and diagnose quickly, decreasing waiting time. The best thing about digital x-rays is not only that they give the dentist a great amount of insight into the patient’s oral structure, but they do not expose the children to high levels of radiation in the process. With digital x-rays, there is a staggering lower radiation reading compared to their original counterparts, with some reports showing 90 to 99 percent less radiation.
Parents should take their children to receive oral checkups once every 6 months – or as needed depending on the child’s oral cleaning habits as well as their diet. Regularly receiving oral x-rays will help the dentists at Kids Choice give better preventative care for your child, picking up problem conditions before they develop into conditions that require more invasive procedures as well as being less harmful on the parent’s wallet.
One more major benefit to using digital X-rays along with regular checkups is that this creates a database of images which through software can highlight changes over time creating powerful predictive tools. These tools can help track if the child may need braces for proper tooth alignment. These differences over time can also be used to follow the progress of braces with precise detail to create a perfect set of well aligned teeth with minimal stress to the patient.
The fine detail of digital X-rays enable dentists to notice and diagnose such things as bone loss, tumors, cysts, abscesses, developmental abnormalities, infection in the tooth nerve, cracks in existing fillings and hard-to see tooth decay between teeth.