Tooth decay can be extremely painful and puts the teeth at risk. Many extractions and restorative treatments are performed every single day because tooth decay has become too severe for the dentist to save the tooth. X-rays can help in detecting hidden tooth decay accurately, quickly, and in its earliest stages, without scratching, probing, or “opening up the tooth.” This provides a greater chance of identifying, treating, and retaining a natural tooth without the need for expensive and time-consuming restorations. Contact us for dental X-rays in Canmore.
Digital radiography (digital X-ray) technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of X-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital X-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays. Dental X-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental X-rays may reveal the following:
Abscesses or cysts
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
Decay between the teeth
Poor tooth and root positions
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Are Dental X-rays Safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital X-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental X-rays. Not only are digital X-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the X-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment. Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those X-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
How Often Should Dental X-rays Be Taken?
The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary X-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound photographs of the face and teeth. They offer a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Panoramic X-rays are extraoral and simple to perform and is generally only taken on an as-needed basis. It is used to provide a better view of the sinus areas, nasal areas and mandibular nerve. Panoramic X-rays are extremely versatile in dentistry, and are used to:
Assess patients with an extreme gag reflex
Evaluate the progression of TMJ
Expose cysts and abnormalities
Expose impacted teeth
Expose jawbone fractures
Plan treatment (full and partial dentures, braces, and implants)
Reveal gum disease and cavities
How Are Panoramic X-rays Taken?
The panoramic X-ray provides the dentist with an ear-to-ear two-dimensional view of both the upper and lower jaw. The Panorex equipment consists of a rotating arm that holds the X-ray generator, and a moving film attachment that holds the pictures. The head is positioned between these two devices. The X-ray generator moves around the head taking pictures as orthogonally as possible. The pictures are magnified by as much as 30% to ensure that even the minutest detail will be noted. Panoramic X-rays are an important diagnostic tool and are also valuable for planning future treatment. They are safer than other types of X-ray because less radiation enters the body. If you have questions or concerns about panoramic X-rays, contact us.
Should You Replace Your Amalgam Fillings?
Metal was once the most commonly used dental material used to fill cavities and repair damage. However, amalgam fillings are less popular than they used to be for a variety of reasons. If you currently have fillings that contain amalgam, you may have been told you should have them removed and replaced with newer composites. The reality is, there are several important factors to consider before deciding which material to use.
How Oral Surgery is Used to Benefit Your Long-Term Oral Health
Ideal oral health involves making sure that teeth are not only healthy but that the surrounding structures in and around the mouth function correctly. Maxillofacial Surgery, more commonly known as oral surgery, focuses on treating many diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, and hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Oral surgery is essential for addressing both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the areas listed above.
Understanding the Causes of Sleep Apnea
For some, snoring is merely an inconvenient late-night distraction. What many don’t realize, however, is that snoring may be an indication of a deeper health issue – sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts while a person sleeps. This condition can often go undiscovered for some time, but specific symptoms can indicate you may need to undergo a sleep study.