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.
It is not uncommon to feel some anxiety when visiting the dentist. Fortunately, digital x-rays significantly reduce both your chair time and your wait time. Traditional x-rays can take up to 15 minutes to process; with digital x-rays, results are instant and highly accurate. Not only are the images precise, they can also be sharpened, enlarged, and optimized in a variety of ways that improve diagnostic proficiency. Such enhancements help ensure a precise diagnosis, putting your mind at ease.
How do 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.