Diagnosing different oral health issues, determining your need for treatment, including oral surgery, and determining the best types of treatments require more than just a visual examination of your mouth. In many cases, we also need to see what lies beneath the surface. At Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can do just that with digital x-rays.
Do I Need Digital X-Rays?
You may already have routine digital x-rays taken during your regular dental exams. These x-rays are typically taken once a year to monitor for issues that you might not notice are there. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of a certain issue, or you have suffered facial trauma, digital x-rays are an integral part of the diagnostic process. They allow us to see areas of your mouth that we would not otherwise be able to view, including your tooth roots and your jawbone. This way, we can determine the extent of the damage, and what treatment or treatments would be best for you.
The Difference Between Digital and Traditional X-Rays
Digital x-rays show the same things as traditional x-rays. However, how the images are taken is very different. With traditional x-rays, you bite down on a film. After your images are taken, the film is developed, a time-consuming process that needs to be done precisely in a dark room. With digital x-rays, we use a special sensor instead of the film. Your x-rays are then shown on the computer screen, no development needed. They are instantly ready for reading.
The Major Benefits of Digital X-Rays
Digital x-rays are much quicker than traditional x-rays. Your images are ready within seconds of being taken. We have an incredibly comprehensive view of your mouth with the ability to enhance specific areas of the images so that we can see details that might go missed by a traditional x-ray.
Because your images are so quick, and we do not need to take any time to develop them, your appointments are generally shorter. We have time to discuss the issues we find and go over your options. We can help you to understand what we see and why we are recommending certain treatments. You can better understand the severity of the issue and why treatment is needed.
With digital x-rays, your exposure to radiation is reduced by as much as 95%! This can be a big deal for patients who are worried about radiation. Even with reduced exposure, we still take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, including using a lead vest when taking images.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe?
Digital x-rays are very safe. Even so, you will still be given a lead vest to wear to reduce radiation exposure further. While digital x-rays are safe, there are some instances in which they may not be recommended. One such situation is during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women should not have digital x-rays done unless they are deemed necessary. If they are, special safety precautions are taken.
If you have any questions regarding digital x-rays, and how they can help you to get the best possible dental care, contact Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 562-459-3311 today.