At Cooley Smiles, we use cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to perform safe, effective dental procedures. Part of performing a safe and effective dental procedure is properly diagnosing the problem. One of the most important diagnostic tools for any dentist to use is a dental x-ray. These days, we use digital x-rays because of their many benefits.
Why We Use X-rays
Aaron Cooley, DDS or Brandon Cooley, DDS may recommend an intraoral x-ray for a variety of reasons. They give us a detailed look at the inner workings of your mouth. Intraoral x-rays are an extremely effective diagnostic tooth that allows us to:
Diagnose cavities and tooth decay that may not be visible
Ensure there is no decay underneath a dental restoration
Examine the roots of the teeth
Check on the status of developing teeth
Make sure you are in good oral health
Check the supportive bone for deterioration
Check for cancerous tumors and cysts
Types of Intraoral X-rays
There are several types of intraoral x-rays. Each one shows a different aspect of your teeth. The various x-rays include:
Bite-wing x-ray. This type of x-ray highlights the crowns of your posterior teeth. We typically take one or two of these x-rays on each side of the mouth to find decay between your back teeth. They get their name for the wing-shaped appliance you bite down on, while we take the x-ray.
Periapical x-ray. This type of x-ray is used to get a closer look at one or two teeth at a time. Each x-ray shows the entire length of a tooth, from root to crown.
Occlusal x-ray. This type of x-ray is primarily used for children. Occlusal x-rays are larger than most and provide a picture of nearly all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. They are an excellent way to highlight the development of permanent teeth.
We may also recommend an extraoral x-ray. Extraoral x-rays are made with the radiograph film outside of the mouth. They show the teeth, but also provide a look at the skull and jaw. Extraoral x-rays can be used to look at the status of impacted teeth, examine the relationship between your teeth and jaw, and keep track of development.
Benefits of Digital X-rays
Digital x-rays are a relatively new piece of technology. However, the benefits of digital x-rays have proven to be far superior to that of traditional x-rays. For instance, digital x-rays use 70% less radiation than traditional ones. They are also time-effective and are easier to produce. If an x-ray does not come out properly, digital technology allows us to take a new one right away. With traditional x-rays, the film must first be developed before we can discover an error. Digital x-rays are also environmentally-friendly. The images can be stored on our computers and are easy to transfer to a specialist if necessary. Digital x-rays are also better for diagnosing minor issues. The images can be manipulated and enhanced to find instances of decay that may be hard to see with a traditional x-ray.
Schedule an Appointment
If you would like to maintain excellent oral health, call (425) 320-5000, and schedule your appointment today.