Digital X-Rays in West Seneca, NY
Experienced West Seneca Dentists Providing Affordable Digital X-Rays and Imaging
A simple X-ray exam can quickly and effectively point out the presence of symptoms of diseases such as periodontitis, which has a marked effect on the health of tissues otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
Dental health care professionals, whether they be dentists, endodontists, or orthodontists, are trained to identify signs of both health and decay in the mouth. To the layperson’s eye, a tooth may appear to be in fine condition and normally shaped, with an acceptable degree of brightness. A dentist, though, will be able to pick up on the subtleties that may escape the untrained eye. A seemingly healthy tooth may be protruding several millimeters forward, affecting the individual’s bite and suggesting malocclusion. There may be buildup of calculus (tartar) in pockets on the rear of the tooth that have gradually worn away the enamel. Gingivitis may have set in, causing gum recession in the spaces between the tooth and those adjacent to it. This is why teeth cleanings are so important: an ostensibly healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile may be hiding some underlying issues that require immediate intervention and treatment.
Even an inspection from a dentist has its limits, however. Without minor exploratory surgery, it is impossible to determine the presence of complications that lie below the gum line. X-rays can allow dental health care professionals a more thorough look into the condition of the gums, the inner flesh of teeth, and the jawbones. A simple X-ray exam can quickly and effectively point out the presence of symptoms of diseases such as periodontitis, which has a marked effect on the health of tissues otherwise invisible to the naked eye. For this reason, dental health care professionals rely on X-rays to ensure that they are able to identify all possible ailments that a patient might have.
X-rays, much like gamma rays and ultraviolet light, can be harmful to humans, which is why X-rays are only recommended for occasional use. The radiation produced by diagnostic X-rays is negligible, but because radiation in large enough quantities can elevate an individual’s risk of developing cancer, it is best that X-rays are used only as needed. Dental X-rays produce far less radiation than most other X-ray exams, such as chest X-rays and CT scans, so the risk of complications is far lower. Nevertheless, recent advances in radiography have produced an X-ray imaging option that generates a fraction of the radiation: digital X-rays.
Digital X-rays are gaining traction among professionals in the dental field because they create only 10% of the radiation of the typical dental X-ray. In addition, the process of rendering and viewing a digital X-ray image is much faster and easier to accomplish; unlike traditional X-rays, which are gathered on photographic plates or film and require the use of chemicals to develop for viewing purposes, digital X-rays are able to be seen almost immediately after radiography has completed. Digital X-ray receptors are connected to a computer, sparing dentists the hassle of having to develop film and allowing both the dentist and the patient to see the image right after it has been taken. The use of a computer program to view the image creates more flexibility in viewing, enabling the dentist to zoom and otherwise modify the image for diagnostic purposes.
Digital dental X-rays come in several different flavors: bitewing, occlusal, and periapical. Each type of digital X-ray has a different purpose, and while each will grant a dentist a detailed look at the interior of a patient’s gums and teeth, certain X-ray scans are more appropriate than others for detecting particular issues. Bitewing scans are ideal for inspecting the inner workings of a row of teeth, and these scans are most helpful when a dentist is checking on the status of crowns, bridges, fillings, and implants. Occlusal X-rays help to determine the quality and alignment in a patient’s bite, presenting the entirety of the upper or lower teeth in one image. Periapical scans are similar to bitewing X-rays in that they show teeth from the crown to the root, but periapical scans are more advantageous in the examination of the roots of the teeth and the integrity of the maxilla (upper law) or the mandible (lower jaw).
Because of their safety and adjustability, digital X-rays have become an asset to both dentists and patients alike in diagnosing dental issues and developing treatment plans.