Dental X-rays are important for many reasons. They can expose hidden dental decay; reveal a dental abscess, cyst or tumour; show impacted or extra teeth; and also help determine the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges and root canals. Dental X-rays can also reveal bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease, tartar build up, find foreign bodies within the gum or bone, and see if there is enough bone for the placement of dental implants. These are just some of the many reasons why dentists rely on dental X-rays.
We place a small sensor in your mouth. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin wire. Next, an X-ray beam is sent through your teeth and into the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to photograph other sections of your teeth.
The digital X-ray system is more sensitive than standard X-ray film systems, so your exposure to X-rays is cut by as much as 90 percent. The large, colour-enhanced images let you see what your dentist sees, so it's easier for you to understand how your dentist will treat your teeth.
Dental X-rays are an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. They do not, however, replace the need for a visual examination of the head, neck and oral cavity. It is only with a combination of both the X-ray and the visual examination that the dentist can best treat his or her patients.