Dental X-Rays: Everything is Digital

x-rayPatients are sometimes apprehensive about dental x-rays. These days we no longer use the film x-rays which produced levels of radiation that were concerning for health reasons years ago. We currently use digital x-rays that produce about one-tenth the amount of radiation as the old film x-rays, which were our only option for many years.

Dental events and unhealthy conditions can take place in spots not seen by the naked eye. Having x-rays is a key part of helping patients maintain good oral health, because we find what is going on inside.

Recently I had a patient who had taken a hit to the jaw and reported that they felt something funny there afterward. We took a panoramic x-ray and found a huge cyst around their wisdom tooth. Without our digital x-ray this cyst would never have been identified until something bad happened to the patient, such as a broken jaw or loss of teeth as a result of the cyst becoming problematic. In this way x-rays are your friend and they help us see the problems that we could not otherwise observe.

Each type of x-ray has an ideal use. Smaller x-rays, called periapicals and bite wings, give us a clearer, detailed view of a problem area. The panoramic x-ray alleviates the need for the patient to hold the x-ray apparatus in the back part of the mouth where wisdom teeth are located.

The protocol for taking a full-mouth series of x-rays is approximately every three years, or if a particular treatment plan would require a full mouth series—for example when a wisdom tooth seems to be the source of the patient’s pain. Patients can feel very safe with digital dental x-rays used in our practice as the amount of radiation given out by these machines is extremely limited.

New Patients Welcome!

-Dr. Alexander Lezhansky
Office in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Posted in: General Dentistry

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