Our office has the newest digital technology available for dental radiography; the newest technology has the lowest possible radiation dose per radiograph – this has been achieved by utilizing faster and more sensitive sensors that require reduced exposure times.
At Stouffville Smiles Dentistry, we use ALARA principles (As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable) which basically means that we always assess to see if the benefits of taking a radiograph outweigh the radiation risks. For example, if by not taking a radiograph, we could potentially miss a cavity due to which you could need a root canal, well, then we better take that radiograph to reduce the chances of missing that cavity.
In fact, the radiation that you would receive from a single dental radiograph or x-ray is less than what you would receive if you took a flight of about an hour. There are several types of radiographs that we may need to properly diagnose conditions.
A “bitewing” x-ray shows mainly the crowns of your teeth and are used to diagnose cavities that are growing in between your teeth (also known as flossing surfaces) and the loss of supporting bone around your teeth. Without bitewing x-rays, cavities in between your teeth will only become evident when they are very large and cause pain and at this point the tooth may need a root canal therapy or even need to be extracted, thus compromising the health, integrity and long term prognosis of the tooth and your oral health.
A “periapical” x-ray will show the whole tooth: the crown ,the root and the bone around it. These are necessary to check for tooth infections, the health of the tooth after Root Canal Treatments or after trauma to check for fractures, however, they cannot accurately show the smaller cavities that form between teeth on the flossing surfaces.
In a “panoramic” x-ray, the dentist can see your jaws, all of your teeth, your sinuses and your joint. This is necessary in both children and adults to check for missing teeth, development of teeth, position and placement of wisdom teeth, as well as tumors and cysts or other abnormal findings that may be found incidentally.
There are certain factors that will determine what x-rays you will need and the frequency at which we recommend to take them: your age, stage and development of your teeth and jaws, the overall health of your mouth and body, the present and potential risk for cavities and the status of your gum health. Each factor is assessed on an individual level and discussed with you prior.