At ProCare Family Dental we feel strongly about the safety of our patients. We appreciate that exposure to radiation should be minimised and this includes x-rays. For this reason we use digital dental x-ray facilities which reduce the exposure to radiation.
What are Digital dental X-Rays?
Digital dental x-rays are x-rays taken with conventional x-ray equipment but sensors receiving the image are not conventional film. The sensor is like the sensors in digital cameras, the difference is these sensors receive x-rays instead of visible light. Due to the material properties the time for x –ray exposure is reduced by half to two thirds what a conventional film would require.
Reduction in exposure times is made possible by the current technology which allows for efficient image collection. The x-ray time of exposure is reduced as the sensors are much more sensitive at receiving x-ray beams compared with the old films.
Are they better than traditional X-Rays?
Yes they are better than conventional x-rays. Digital images are clearer allowing for early disease diagnosis and intervention for better long term outcomes.
Are there any dangers from digital dental X-Rays? (Pregnancy etc)
X-rays are dangerous and exposure to the rays must be minimised. This is the reason the dentist , dental assistant and anyone else (other than the person needing the x-ray taken) in the room needs to leave. The x-ray units today are made with special collimating components which ensure that the target area is very specific and small. Only the desired part of the body is exposed to the rays. In fact the area of exposure is often not much larger than the film used. Use of a lead apron further protects the other parts of the body. Dental xrays can be taken whilst a patient is pregnant when wearing a lead apron covering the abdomen. However at ProCare Family Dental all dental x-ray exposures are avoided unless absolutely necessary.
An added advantage of digital x-rays is the impact on the environment. Due to the electronic processing of the images there is no need for processing chemicals. These chemicals are often toxic and dangerous to humans when in direct, frequent contact. It can also be a burden on the environment upon disposal.
How often should I have xrays taken?
X-rays should only be taken when necessary. At ProCare Family Dental we take x-rays only after we have done a comprehensive examination. If the individual is considered high risk of dental decay x-rays may need to be exposed once every 6-12 months. In moderate risk cases we may schedule x-rays once every year until the risk factors causing the disease have diminished. But for most low risk cases we will take routine x-rays once every 2 years. The type of disease we are trying to detect will also dictate the exposure frequency.