COVID-19 Patient Care Update

The Alberta Dental Association and College has just informed their members that, “Effective immediately there is a mandatory suspension of all non-emergency dental treatment and services.” Please be advised that Dr. Grant Moldenhauer and Associates Dental Office will be temporarily closed, except for emergencies. Click here to learn more.

Dental X-rays in Canmore

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. That’s why at Canmore Smiles,  Dr. Grant Moldenhauer and Dr. Brian Piercy provide Diagnodent®, a safe fluorescent laser that detects hidden tooth decay accurately, quickly, and in its earliest stages. Diagnodent® accurately exposes areas of tooth decay 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.

How Can Diagnodent® Help Me?

Diagnodent® accurately exposes more caries than X-rays and examinations. In fact, this revolutionary diagnostic tool is over 90% accurate. Sometimes, caries “go underground” due to fluoridation. This essentially means that lesions that once lay on the surface of the tooth bed down, and remain invisible to the naked eye. Because Diagnodent® exposes caries earlier, more treatment options are possible.


Here are some of the other benefits associated with Diagnodent®:

  Allows dentists to perform treatment with greater confidence
  Allows for the investigation of suspicious areas
  Completely safe
  Cost effective
  Empirically measurable results
  Helps reduce future dental procedures
  More accurate than any other diagnostic tool
  No exposure to X-rays
  No need for invasive investigations
  No pain or scratching

What Does the Diagnodent® Process Involve?

Diagnodent® is similar to having a laser pointer aimed at the teeth. It is a hi-tech tool, which first scans a clean tooth surface with a laser beam. This scanning procedure serves to calibrate the instrument by providing information about the tooth structure. As each tooth is scanned, the amount of reflected laser light is recorded to produce a digital readout. If the tooth contains little or no decay, little or no laser light will be reflected back to the instrument. However, if a tooth contains caries of any significance, more laser light is reflected back. High readings (compared to the tooth originally scanned) indicate that caries are present within the structure of a particular tooth. The amount of laser light reflected back correlates with the amount of decay within the tooth.


In most cases, the early detection of caries means more treatment options and a greater chance of saving the affected tooth. If you have any questions about Diagnodent®, contact us.

Digital X-rays

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

  • Bone loss

  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors

  • Decay between the teeth

  • Developmental abnormalities

  • 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

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.

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Rely on us for X-rays, dental checkups, and complete oral care.

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