At Embrace Dental Care, we use digital x-rays to better diagnose and treat oral health issues. Digital x-rays use sensors to produce comprehensive images of the mouth. The images can be acquired through direct, indirect, or semi-indirect methods.
The direct method uses a sensor that is inserted into the mouth. The indirect method, on the other hand, uses an x-ray film scanner so the x-rays can be viewed as digital images. And the semi-indirect method uses both a sensor and scanner to convert a traditional x-ray into a digital film.
Types of Digital X-Rays
Digital dental radiographs or digital x-rays can be intraoral or extraoral. Intraoral x-rays are taken inside the mouth, while extraoral x-rays are taken outside the mouth.
Intraoral x-rays are more common as they can produce more detailed images, and can be used for individual tooth issues.
Extraoral x-rays are not as detailed but they are still useful in tracking haw development, detecting impacted teeth, and identifying issues involving structures surrounding the tooth, such as jaws and bones.
Types of Intraoral X-Rays
- Bitewing x-rays. The term bitewing comes from the small tabs that you need to bite on to keep the sensor or x-ray film in place. This type of x-ray gives the most accurate results and can also show the development of permanent teeth, bone volume and density, and periodontal health status.
- Periapical x-rays. They show the entire tooth, from the crown to the root and bones. This type of x-ray is usually used to spot issues below in the jaw or below the gum line, such as fractures and impacted teeth. It can also be used to spot issues in the bones that may be connected to other health problems.
- Occlusal. Occlusal x-rays are used in tracking the development and condition of the upper and lower jaw. They can also be used to see how children's teeth are developing.
Types of Extraoral X-Rays
- Panoramic x-rays. This x-ray reveals a view of the entire mouth in a single x-ray.
- Cephalometric projections. This type of x-ray provides a view of the entire side of the head or the side view of the skull. It helps orthodontists develop teeth realignment plans for patients. It is also used by ENT specialists in evaluating the patient’s airways and treating sleep apnea cases.
- Sialogram. This is taken to diagnose the presence of stones or structures that block salivary flow. It is done by inserting a very thin tube into the duct opening and injecting a small amount of liquid. There's no need for anesthesia and the procedure can be completed within 30 minutes. It may take longer sometimes if the duct opening is hard to find.
- Dental computed tomography (CT). This special type of x-ray is used when the detail from regular x-rays is not enough. It can be used to produce 3D images of the teeth, soft tissues, bone, and nerve pathways. It also helps identify issues such as fractures and tumors.
- Cone-beam CT. Dental cone beam computed tomography is also used to supplement traditional x-rays. It is not used as often as the radiation in this equipment is higher than regular dental x-rays. Cone beam CT produces 3D images of dental structures and the images diverge, revealing a cone.
Benefits of Digital X-Rays
- Early diagnosis and treatment of dental issues, which helps you save time and money.
- Images can be reviewed in real-time and enhanced to improve accuracy.
- X-rays can be forwarded electronically to dental specialists, laboratories, insurance providers, and consultants.
- Improves recordkeeping efficiency and eliminates the need for chemical processing
- Shows hidden decay that can’t be detected during visual exams
- Requires less radiation than traditional x-rays
- Helps speed up reimbursement processes
Digital Dental X-Rays in SE Calgary
How often you’ll need x-rays depends on your oral and general health conditions. Others may need their x-rays taken more frequently. Children will need more x-rays since their teeth are still developing and they are more prone to decay.
Do you need your x-rays taken? Are you concerned about the safety of x-rays? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to assist you in booking an appointment with our team.