While we always perform a thorough visual examination of your mouth during each routine dental visit, sometimes we need to get a closer look at what’s going on below the surface. This is because some dental structures, like the roots of teeth, cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Dental diagnostic x-rays allow us to see these structures and diagnose problems that might not be visible during a regular examination.
Dental radiography allows us to see dental diseases and provides information on how the disease developed, how far it has progressed, and how best to treat it. These images also provide valuable information regarding the integrity of your teeth and other orofacial structures. This, along with your medical and dental history, allows us to give you the best possible care and create a treatment plan unique to your needs.
Why Dental X-Rays Are Important To Your Dental Care
Dental x-rays are essential to your dental care because they help your dentist spot problems that cannot be seen with the naked eye. For instance, cavities often form between the teeth, where dentists cannot spot them during a visual exam. Dental x-rays can also help detect problems beneath the gum line, such as infections or abscesses. In addition, x-rays can check the jawbone’s health and identify areas of concern.
X-Rays in the Digital Age
Digital x-rays have entirely changed the landscape of dentistry.
In the past, x-ray film had to be developed in a dark room. This process was time-consuming and often resulted in fuzzy, unclear images. However, with advancements in modern technology, we can now utilize the many benefits of digital vs. traditional x-rays.
The images produced by digital x-rays are also more precise and detailed than those produced by traditional methods. Because they are sent directly to the computer, they can also be enhanced and magnified for a closer look. This allows us to diagnose and treat dental problems more accurately.
These images can be quickly and efficiently taken without using traditional film-based methods. Without the hassle of long exposure times and the need for darkroom development, we can get a clear picture of your mouth in seconds.
Digital x-rays also produce up to 90% less radiation exposure than traditional film-based dental x-rays, making them a safer option for patients and dental professionals. Because digital radiographs do not require any developing chemicals, they create less waste and are safer for the environment.
Convenient Electronic Filing
Images are immediately stored in the patient’s electronic file, where they can be easily viewed on a screen, shared, or printed out. This allows us to more easily keep track of your dental history and progress and share this information with other dental professionals, like oral surgeons or orthodontists, as needed.
Types of Dental X-Rays
There are several types of x-rays available, extraoral and intraoral x-rays, depending on what information we need to gather.
An intraoral x-ray examines the structures on the inside of the mouth. An extraoral x-ray looks at the external structures of the mouth and jaw. Both of these are used to diagnose and treat dental problems early.
- Periapical X-Rays: These images show the entire tooth, from the crown to the root and the adjacent bone. They are often used to diagnose problems with the tooth, like tooth decay, gum disease, or infection.
- Bitewing X-Rays: These x-rays show the upper and lower teeth in one image, typically focusing on the premolars, molars, and wisdom teeth. Bitewing x-rays also detect cavities between the teeth and decay beneath existing fillings.
- Complete Mouth Series: These provide a comprehensive view of all the teeth in the mouth. It is often used as a baseline for future comparisons or to diagnose more complex dental problems.
- Panoramic X-Rays: These images provide a 2D panoramic view of the mouth, including all the teeth, the bones of the jaw, and other structures. They are often used to diagnose emerging teeth, impacted teeth, cysts, or tumors. These are also called Extraoral x-rays.
- Cephalometric Film: This x-ray provides a side view of the head, including the teeth, bones of the face, jaw, and sinuses. They are often used to diagnose problems with jaw or teeth alignment.
- CBCT Scans: In addition to traditional 2D x-rays, we also offer 3D imaging for our patients. This type of imaging, called Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), provides a 3D view of the teeth, jaws, soft tissues, and surrounding bone structure. These 3D scans can be used in planning treatment for dental implants, oral surgery, or orthodontics.
Dental X-Rays in Morristown, NJ
Dental Group of Morristown uses the latest technology to provide our patients with the best possible care. A digital dental x-ray allows us to better serve our patients by providing clear images, quicker results, and a safer alternative. If you have questions or need a digital x-ray located in the Morristown, NJ, area, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
We look forward to serving you!