Digital Radiographs

A digital radiograph is a high-tech form of X-ray that has replaced the traditional dental film X-ray. Digital radiographs can reveal a number of important things that cannot be viewed with the naked eye. At Healthy Living Dentistry, we have digital radiography available for your dental needs.

What are Digital Radiographs?

The process of using digital radiographs is similar to traditional X-rays, however, they offer many more benefits. Digital X-rays use up to 90 percent less radiation than film X-rays, making them safer to use on a regular basis. Digital Radiographs use sensors to produce high-quality images that will appear almost instantly. They can then be enlarged or magnified for a better visual of the tooth’s structure and to identify cavities. These images are an important part of identifying possible problems that are not visible to the naked eye.

You May Need a Digital Radiograph if:

  • You are a new patient – this can determine your present dental health status
  • You are at a higher risk of oral cancer or oral disease
  • You have had previous dental work such as fillings
  • Children need more digital X-rays than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing. Adults who identify with the above list or those who experience symptoms of dental problems might need X-rays done every six months. Other healthy adults with no dental concerns might get X-rays only once every couple of years.

What to Expect During a Digital Radiograph

Your digital radiograph will be performed right in the office. First, you will be covered with a heavy lead apron to protect your body from radiation during the X-ray. A plastic mouthpiece will be inserted into your mouth which you will bite down on to hold in place. An X-ray beam will be directed at the mouth and a picture will be taken of the area. This process will be repeated until the entire mouth has been pictured.

Dr. Kim will review the images and go over any findings with you. When viewing the images, they are looking for signs of tooth decay, bone infection, periodontal disease, abscesses and cysts, structural abnormalities, and tumors. For children, X-rays can show tooth and jaw development, wisdom teeth development and which teeth will be impacted, and where new teeth are coming in and if there is enough space.

If you have any questions about digital radiographs or would like to schedule an exam, contact our office today.