Digital Dental X-Rays

A digital x-ray or digital radiography uses an electronic sensor instead of x-ray film, capturing and storing a digital image on a computer. Unlike conventional x-rays, the image can be viewed instantly and easily enlarged to help Dr. Hwang or the hygienists at Westboro Station Dental to detect and prevent problems. The advantage to you as a patient is that digital x-rays use 70-80% less radiation compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. Digital x-rays are also better for the environment because there is no need for developer and fixer chemicals.

A dental x-ray is an essential tool that gives Dr. Hwang valuable information that can’t be seen with just a dental exam to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.  Without x-rays, dental problems could go undetected.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

We get exposed to natural radiation in our day-to-day life, and digital x-rays have a lot lower level of radiation compared to the older, traditional x-ray methods. Digital x-rays are not only safer for you as the patient; they’re faster and more comfortable and more environmentally-conscious since there’s no need for chemicals, producing much less waste than traditional x-rays.

Digital x-rays only are considered very safe and only use a low level of radiation, but Dr. Hwang and the hygienists still take precautions to limit your radiation exposure: a lead apron protects your body and only necessary x-rays are ever taken.

What Do Digital Dental X-Rays Show?

· Problems inside a tooth
· Tooth problems below the gum line
· Decay between the teeth
· Poor tooth and root positions
· Developmental abnormalities
· Abscesses or cysts
· Bone loss
· Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors

By using digital x-rays, dental problems can be detected early, saving you time, money and unnecessary pain and damage to your teeth.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on your unique dental health needs. Dr. Hwang and the Westboro Station Dental hygienists will recommend necessary x-rays based on your age, general health status, your risk of disease, and only after reviewing your medical and dental history and completing a thorough dental exam.

In general however, Dr. Hwang recommends having a panoramic x-ray for new patients, and having new panoramic radiographs taken every five years. Bite-wing x-rays (of your top and bottomo teeth biting together) are usually taken at check-up visits and generally recommended every one to two years to help Dr. Hwang detect any new dental problems. These recommendations of course, are dependent upon your risk of dental problems and other factors mentioned above.

Digital Dental X-rays at Westboro Station Dental

Diagnodent - Laser-Assisted Cavity Detection

Detecting any disease at an early stage is very important. Cavities begin as tiny areas of demineralized enamel but can quickly progress to become a much larger problem. If cavities aren’t caught early, they can lead to pain, infection and even tooth loss.  Until recently, cavities could only be detected using the sense of touch, visually, or with the help of x-rays.  While each of these modalities remain very effective at detecting the presence of dental decay, Westboro Station Dental also uses Diagnodent laser caries detection to help find cavities extremely early.

Why is Early Cavity Detection Important?

· It helps determine how susceptible you are to decay and how quickly a cavity may be growing
· Your cavity can be repaired before it can damage more tooth structure
· Small cavities can be treated with ‘micro-fillings’ without needing anesthetic injections
· Treating small cavities is more conservative and cost-effective than treating the cavity at a later stage

Intraoral Camera

Similar to digital x-rays, digital photographs taken with intraoral cameras are a useful diagnostic and educational tool. These cameras show you what we see during your exam and help us guide you through your diagnosis and treatment options. They also allow us to better see and diagnose issues we might not have been able to see without the close-up view.

It might be hard for you to fully understand your dental health because it’s hard to see anything other than just the front of our teeth, but intraoral cameras can help with that. Dr. Hwang or one of the hygienists puts a small, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. This camera is no bigger than your typical ball-point pen, except it can take video and images inside of your mouth, transmitting them digitally to the screen, so that both you and Dr. Hwang can see detailed images of your oral health.

The camera can quickly show how effective your regular brushing and flossing routine is and it may be difficult to face your own dental condition so closely, but it does help Dr. Hwang assess what might need to be done to optimize the health of your teeth and gums. From what you can see, all may look fine, but what you can’t see might reveal the early stages of potentially serious dental problems. You’ll be better able to make informed decisions about your dental treatment options because you’re literally getting a better picture of your overall dental health.

Contact Westboro Station Dental today at 613-728-8988 to optimize your oral health by scheduling a cleaning or consultation.