Is Digital X-ray Necessary?

Is Digital X-ray Necessary?

Dec 01, 2019

Dental assessment and examination are critical and form the foundation of your dental treatment. As part of the diagnosis, various dental tests are done, amongst then an x-ray.

In the past, traditional x-ray imaging was used for assessment and it was cumbersome and time-consuming. However, with modern technology, our dentist in Langley can examine your oral health in a few minutes using digital x-rays.

What are Digital X-rays?

Digital x-ray is a type of dental imaging that uses digital x-ray sensors to produce enhanced computer imaging of the gums, teeth, and oral structures.

It’s important to understand digital x-ray is not usually done with every dental visit. Certain factors will determine if the dentist will perform the x-ray or not and they include:

  • If you are a new patient and the dentist needs to do a comprehensive dental exam
  • Your age. Children may have more dental x-ray than adults as the dentist needs to monitor the growth and development of teeth and bone.
  • Your oral health
  • History of gum diseases
  • Symptoms of oral disease

Why Does the Dentist Use Digital X-ray?

Several types of digital x-rays are available and they are used to detect, diagnose and treat various dental conditions.

1. Check for dental cavities and decay

If you have a toothache, spontaneous pain, or tooth sensitivity, then you might have teeth cavity or decay. As part of your dental exam, our dentist in Langley will do a bitewing x-ray that involves biting down on the film to show the details of your lower and upper teeth.

Apart from tooth decay, the bitewing digital x-ray can also detect the changes in your bone density and determine how the dental restorations the fit of your dental restorations in your mouth.

2. Diagnose periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is diagnosed using the Periapical x-rays which are used to show the complete view of your teeth from the root to the crown. It also detects any abnormalities in the bone structure and endodontic lesions or abscess.

3. Correct impacted teeth

If you have impacted teeth or require a dental implant, the dentist may perform a Panoramic x-ray to check for the condition of your teeth. Panorex x-ray uses a machine that rotates around the head to reveal details of your mouth including the teeth in your lower and upper arch.

The dentist can also use Panoramic x-ray to diagnose bone tumors, jaw problems, infections, and cysts.

4. Diagnose salivary gland problems

Sialography is used to detect blockages like Sjogren’s disease or autoimmune diseases that can affect salivary glands or saliva production.

5. Assess bone problems and tumors

Part of your dental checkup may involve a Computerized tomography or CT scan that uses three-dimensional imaging to examine the body’s interior structure, bone problems, tumors, and fractures.

Additionally, a CT scan can also be used to evaluate dental implants placement and tooth extraction to help the dentist avoid any complications.

Keep in mind that CT scans use more radiation than other digital x-rays.

Why Digital X-ray is Beneficial

Digital x-rays are commonly used over other dental diagnosis techniques due to their numerous benefits such as:

  • Digital x-ray can detect even the small hidden infection, decay, tumors, cysts, and abnormalities that can’t be detected with visual exams.
  • You get results in a short time as the digital images are transmitted instantly to the computer screen without changing the quality
  • No chemicals used
  • Digital x-rays results are stored easily in the patient’s medical records and can be shared conveniently among specialists and insurance companies
  • It uses high-quality colors, 3D sharpness and zooms to produce quality imaging for proper diagnosis

Possible Risks

Digital dental x-rays have various disadvantages:

  • Several direct systems sensors are bulky and thick and can cause discomfort
  • Infection control as most of the digital plates can’t be sterilized and will require the use of protective barriers between patients

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding digital x-ray in Langley and procedures involved, contact our dental clinic can our staff will be ready to answer any queries you may have.