Our office uses a digital x-ray system, which reduces the traditional radiation exposure by about 90%. Images are associated immediately with the patient's record and are able to be viewed on-screen. We're able to zoom in on the images in order to better detect and diagnose.
Why Do I Need X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are essential for accurately diagnosing issues. Since approximately 40% of the tooth structure is not visible by direct examination, x-rays provide the necessary views, including those of the supporting jaw structure. Bitewing x-rays (one or two per side) are used for the detection of decay between back teeth, an area where most adult cavities begin. The earlier cavities can be diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin and ultimate costs reduced. A full series of x-rays usually consists of up to 18 individual images. These provide views of the entire mouth and all the teeth, including their roots and some of the surrounding bone. Again, these images help detect early signs of decay, as well as any bone issues. Further, periodontal (gum disease) issues and dental abscesses may be seen on x-rays. A "panorex" is a single x-ray that provides a full view of the upper and lower jaws, teeth, temporomandibular joints, and sinuses. Anomalies such as cysts and tumors may be discovered via the panorex.
We recommend taking bitewing x-rays every year, depending on the patient's overall dental health. It is also recommended that a full series or panorex be taken every three to five years.
Intraoral Digital Cameras
Intraoral digital cameras allow us to take pictures inside a patient's mouth. We use the cameras to capture images of fractured teeth, broken fillings, oral lesions, and the like. The images are stored in the patient's chart, and like digital x-rays, may be viewed and enlarged on screen. The camera images can be shared easily with the patient and contribute to a better understanding of the issue and treatment plan. The cameras are also used after an issue has been addressed, to show the outcome of treatment.
Cadent iTero Intraoral Scanner
For almost all crown preparations, we use the iTero intraoral scanner. Rather than an impression of the prepared tooth, the system takes a series of digital pictures of a tooth prepared with impression material to create an accurate digital model. The images are transmitted to a lab, which prepares a model. A variety of materials can be then used to fabricate the crown, providing increased options for the patient and provider.