A digital x-ray, also called digital dental radiography, is a device that uses electronic sensors to capture x-ray images. Digital dental x-rays don’t use traditional x-ray films, so they don’t need as much time to develop, and they use 90% less radiation. As such, digital dental radiography is one of the most effective, accurate, and safest methods of capturing dental x-rays for diagnosis of dental problems.

Sapphire Smiles is a state-of-the-art Houston dental clinic equipped with the latest and safest dental technologies, including laser technologies, digital x-rays and dental radiography, and intraoral cameras. During your dental checkups, our dentist uses dental digital x-rays and intraoral cameras to produce high-quality images for accurate diagnosis of dental problems. Please continue reading to learn more about digital x-rays.

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Digital X-Rays produce high quality images and require less radiation than tradition X-Rays. Book your appointment today!

Importance of Dental X-Rays

X-rays are a form of energy that pass through solid objects and are absorbed by your teeth and bones, which are then highlighted. Dense objects like teeth and jaws appear in lighter shades while less-dense objects like gums appear in darker shades. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to look inside your soft tissue, examining your dental and facial bone structure.

As such, dental x-rays — digital or traditional — are crucial components of preventative dental care that provide a complete overview of your teeth, jaws, and facial bone structure. Dental x-rays allow dentists to identify problems that may not be visible through regular oral exams, allowing them to diagnose problems early.

Dental x-rays allow dentists to identify the following problems in your teeth and jaws:

  • Dental decay between teeth.
  • Dental decay in fillings.
  • Loss of bone structure in the jaws.
  • Changes in the bone structure of a tooth due to infections.
  • Condition of the jawbone structure under the socket of a missing tooth.
  • Dental abscess formation between the gums and teeth.
  • Cysts and tumors in your oral cavities.
  • Dental structure for implants and braces.
  • Identification of erupting wisdom teeth.
  • Impacted teeth.
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Types of Dental X-Rays

  • Bitewing X-Rays: This is a type of dental x-ray used to examine a specific part of your mouth. Your dentist may take several bitewing x-rays to expose specific parts of your upper and lower teeth, along with their complete root structure. These are ideal for decay identification.
  • Periapical X-Rays: This is a type of dental x-ray that captures your entire tooth’s structure, focusing on an individual tooth. The x-ray shows the tooth’s crown, root canal, and root under the gum line. These are used to identify small structural changes in and around a specific tooth.
  • Full Mouth X-Rays: This refers to a series of x-rays taken with a combination of bitewing x-rays and periapical x-rays to gain a baseline and overall understanding of your mouth’s structure. These are taken if the dentist suspects cysts or tumors or needs extractions or gum disease treatment.
  • Panoramic X-Rays: This refers to a single x-ray that takes a panoramic photo of your entire mouth from end to end. It allows the dentist to identify all your teeth to narrow down on possible issues like impacted teeth.
  • Occlusal X-Rays: This is a type of x-ray used to capture specific sections of your upper or lower jaws, similar to bitewing x-rays. They help dentists identify children’s teeth that haven’t yet emerged from the gums.
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Benefits of Digital Dental Radiography (Digital X-Rays)

  • Digital dental x-rays expose you to 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays, making them a lot safer.
  • Digital x-rays don’t depend on traditional x-rays, so the dentist doesn’t need to wait for the results of the x-rays. They’re available instantly.
  • The dentist can easily enlarge images to identify problems with greater ease.
  • Without x-ray films, there’s no need to dispose of harmful wastes, making digital x-rays more eco-friendly.

Digital X-Rays help our dentist identify problems that may not be visible with traditional X-Rays. Book your dental appointment today!

Digital Dental X-Ray Q&As

What does a panoramic x-ray show?

Panoramic x-rays produce dental x-rays of your entire mouth from end to end, revealing all of the teeth and their surrounding structure.

How much is a panoramic x-ray?

The cost of dental x-rays usually ranges from $30 to $200, depending on the type of dental x-ray and the number of images necessary. The average cost of a panoramic dental radiography is $163 without insurance.

Are panoramic dental x-rays necessary?

Panoramic dental x-rays aren’t necessary for routine dental checkups. Dentists usually recommend them if smaller digital x-rays don’t reveal certain conditions.

What are periapical radiographs used for?

Periapical dental radiography focuses on a single tooth, capturing its entire structure, including the crown and the root. These are used to identify smaller changes in a single tooth’s structure.

How often are dental x-rays needed?

The frequency of dental x-rays depends on your dental history and condition. Your dentist may recommend dental x-rays once every six months, once a year, or even once every couple of years. According to the American Dental Association, healthy adults should get dental x-rays taken every 2 to 3 years.

How often do you get bitewing x-rays?

According to the American Dental Association, healthy adults with no history of dental decay should get bitewing x-rays once every 2 to 3 years, and adults with a greater risk of cavities should get bitewing x-rays once every 6 to 12 months.

Do you want to learn more about Digital X-Rays? Ask us!

Contact our Houston Dental Clinic Today

At Sapphire Smiles, we stay ahead of the curve by using the latest cutting-edge technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. Our dentist accurately diagnoses dental problems at their earliest stage using digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, ensuring optimal preventative care. For more information, please schedule an appointment with our Houston dental clinic today.