Digital X-Rays

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Puyallup WA dentist looking at a Dental X-Ray

At Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry as part of our commitment to providing patients with superior dental care, we use digital radiography (x-rays) to detect decay and disease earlier than would be possible with a basic oral exam. You will most likely receive an x-ray as a new patient, if you have signs or a history of disease or decay, or if your teeth are touching, which makes it impossible to see all surfaces.

Digital x-rays are quickly taking the place of traditional film-based x-rays and have become one of the most important advances in dental technology today, offering our patients substantial benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Digital X-Rays?

Digital x-rays benefit both patient and dentist alike in many ways. Benefits include:

  • Reduced chair time and wait time — results are instant and highly accurate. Because there is no film to process with digital x-rays, there is no waiting for pictures to develop — and no toxic chemicals to dispose of. Drs. Smith & Wetterhus can immediately show you the pictures on a computer screen for easy viewing.
  • Improved imaging — images can also be sharpened, enlarged, and optimized in a variety of ways that improve diagnostic proficiency. It is possible to get more information from digital x-rays. The contrast can be increased or decreased, and areas of concern can be magnified. It’s even possible to compare them on-screen to your previous x-rays, making even the minutest changes to your tooth structure easier to detect.
  • Less radiation — the radiation exposure from digital imaging is 80% less than from traditional x-rays
  • Easy sharing and storage — Digital x-rays provide a better visual aide for you, the patient, to understand your diagnosis and treatment options. They can be e-mailed to different locations; they are also far less likely to be misplaced.
  • Decreased environmental impact — digital x-rays eliminate the material and chemical waste produced by traditional film-based x-rays


Digital Dental X-Ray at Puyallup WA dentist

Digital X-Ray

How Digital X-Rays Work

A small sensor is placed inside your mouth, instead of the traditional paper tabs that fit awkwardly and often cause pain. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin, unobtrusive wire and records a highly detailed image of your mouth. The image is then sent to the computer, where it is instantly projected onto a screen for the dentist to review.

Understandably, you may have safety concerns about x-rays and radiation. Though the radiation exposure from traditional x-rays is considered safe, the radiation exposure from digital x-rays is even less — almost 80% less — taking the worry out of the procedure. Digital x-rays are not only healthier for you, they are also healthier for our community, because they eliminate the material and chemical waste produced by traditional, film-based x-rays.

As a key component in delivering the highest level of ongoing care and personalized service, our use of digital x-rays allows us to provide you with the dental experience you deserve. Decreased anxiety and precise diagnosis allow for your increased comfort and confidence in our commitment to helping you maintain a healthy, bright, white smile for years to come.


How often do I need to have a dental x-ray taken?
The frequency with which you will need to have dental x-rays depends on your overall oral health. If you are suffering from dental decay or disease, you may need to be x-rayed every six months. If you are in good oral health, you may only need a dental x-ray every couple of years.
Are x-rays dangerous?
Though dental x-rays do require very low doses of radiation exposure, they are considered very safe. The use of digital technology further reduces the level of radiation you receive from a dental x-rays.
Is it safe to have dental x-rays taken while pregnant?
Dental x-rays are very safe. However, if you are pregnant, it’s best to minimize dental treatments and avoid dental x-rays if possible. In the case of a dental emergency, Dr. Daniel S. Smith, DDS and Dr. Gregory J. Wetterhus, DDS will take all precautions available to minimize even the slightest risk to your baby.
Call 253.200.5427 to schedule an appointment with your Puyallup, WA dentist today!