Dental x-rays provide the best diagnostic tool your dentist can provide to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
But all dental x-rays are not created equal. For decades the patient had to endure cardboard encased film being placed in their mouth while the assistant left the room to take the picture. Then you had to wait while the assistant left the room with the film, went to the dark room to process the film, and then returned minutes later only to announce it had to be retaken. Of course, retakes were not the norm, but any additional exposure to radiation was unwelcome.
In the last few years, digital x-rays have become more readily available. Dentists were able to contribute to a safer environment by eliminating the chemicals needed to process x-rays; the need for physical film and foil wrappers became obsolete; and the ability to get a clear picture of what was happening in your mouth was available in an instant on a screen that both you and your dentist could observe.
The same safety precautions are utilized … a lead apron is provided for the patient and the assistant still steps away to avoid repeated exposure. Training is needed to take an effective image so to prevent unneeded retakes, and many dentists will certify their personnel to assure the patient’s exposure to radiation stays well within the safety guidelines.
Dental x-rays are needed to reveal teeth fractures, bone infection, and dental decay. They are also used to identify patients suffering from malignant or benign bone masses; and bone loss that could lead to tooth loss.
Full mouth x-rays are performed as your dental health and/or provider dictates. Bite wing x-rays are usually taken once a year. Since many dental maladies are not evident with a visual inspection, x-rays will reveal problems that can be resolved before they have a chance to escalate into the need for major treatment saving you time and money.
Another advantage of digital x-rays over traditional radiographs is they are stored electronically allowing their immediate transfer to another dental office. This also eases storage and accessibility in the event of an emergency.
All dental offices may not be equipped with digital x-ray, so if you are interested in the safety and convenience this technology has to offer ask if your dentist can provide digital x-rays.
Find out more by calling the office of Dr. Kozlow today!