Digital radiography (digital X-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental X-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of X-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged, helping the dentist detect problems more easily. Digital capturing reduces radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Decay within the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
- Tooth resorption
- Complex anatomy affecting root canal procedures
Are dental X-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment whether it be solar or geological. Historically, dental radiation levels through technological advances have continually been reduced ever since the 19th century. Digital X-ray capturing is one more significant step in this process. Together with less radiation, it is faster, more efficient, and more comfortable to use Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the X-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
With opportunities now existing for an unprecedented low level of radiation usage, digital dental x-rays are considered very safe, such that the American Dental Association, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, revised its x-ray guidelines in 2012 stating that in offices, such as ours following the latest x-ray hygiene recommendations, lead aprons for abdominal and gonadal shielding are superfluous and no longer necessary for adult, non-pregnant patients. Nowadays x-ray reduction is accomplished with ultra sensitive high-speed digital sensors (or high-speed film) that require very small time exposures, internal filtration that remove non-diagnostic radiation, and external collimators that narrow the x-ray beam to the size of the sensor thus eliminating extraneous exposure. Sunset Endodontics is proud to say that it utilizes all of these radiation safety measures.