Regular dental exams are a critical component of maintaining optimal oral health. We check the visible structures of your teeth looking for signs of damage and decay. We can identify early problems, helping you to get fast, effective treatment right away. However, even with thorough visual exams, there are still parts of your mouth that cannot be seen with the naked eye. To examine the hidden areas of your mouth, and provide you with the best possible care, West End Dental performs digital x-rays.
The Importance of X-Ray Images
While visual inspection of your mouth can show us a lot, such as cavities, physical damage, and gum disease, there are several structures of your mouth that are hidden from view. To provide you with the best possible care, we need to be able to see all of your oral structures. X-rays allow us to do just that. These images show us the areas between your teeth, roots of your teeth, and the jaw. We can spot cavities between your teeth, damage to the roots, abscesses, impacted teeth, and more. With a complete picture of your mouth, we can make a more accurate diagnosis of any oral health conditions and provide you with the most effective treatment plan possible.
At West End Dental, we use digital x-ray sensors, which decrease radiation exposure and provides for clearer images. Digital sensors reduce the radiation exposure up to 90% compared with traditional x-ray film, and the images are obtained in much less time. The sensor is attached to a computer, and with a click of a button, the images are displayed almost instantly on a monitor. With digital x-rays, the exposure is so low that a new standard of practice states that lead aprons are no longer necessary. However, we still use the apron to mitigate any patient concerns regarding exposure. To help quantify radiation exposure, medical and otherwise, consider the following. The average person in the U.S. receives approximately 3.0 mSv of background radiation per year. Those that live at elevations greater than 5,000 ft receive about 1.5 mSv more per year. The radiation that one is exposed to on a cross-country flight is about 0.03 mSv. The largest source of background radiation comes from radon in our homes. These amounts can vary considerably. The exposure from a digital dental x-ray is 0.005 mSv, or the equivalent of one day of background radiation. For comparison, a mammogram is 0.4 mSv and a CT of the chest is 7.0 mSv. Despite the comparatively low radiation exposures for digital, we are mindful to obtain what is considered to be the minimal of images for diagnostic purposes.
The Benefits of Digital X-Rays
There are several benefits associated with digital x-rays, including:
With digital x-rays, we can get a unique look at the hidden structures of your mouth. We can see potential problems before they cause symptoms and help you to get the most effective treatments you need to restore your oral health. For more information, call West End Dental today at (503) 446-2957.
WE TREAT OUR PATIENTS WITH RESPECTWe believe in educating patients about their treatment options and listening to their questions and concerns.
WE BELIEVE IN HEALTHY TEETH FIRSTWe focus on prevention so that you keep your smile healthy. We provide excellent comfortable care for all procedures.