X-rays are used by dentists to detect decay and damage in your smile. X-rays can detect problems that are not visible during a dental exam. Dr. Michael B. Wilhite will determine how often to take X-rays of your teeth depending on your age, oral health, risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. Digital X-rays are a recent development in the dental industry. The use of digital X-rays, or digital imaging, has several benefits:

  • This technique uses less radiation
  • There is no wait time for the X-rays to develop — the images are available on screen after only a few seconds
  • The image can be enhanced and enlarged
  • Images can be sent to another dentist or specialist
  • Current images can be compared to previous ones and everything that is the same is taken out of the image—this helps our dentist easily see the tiniest changes in your smile

Why Digital X-Rays Are Important
Our dentist wants to provide each patient with the best care possible. Visual examinations don’t tell him what he needs to know. This is where digital X-rays come in. Digital X-rays allow us to diagnose and treat dental issues early on, before they become more serious and difficult to treat. If our dentist examines your mouth and takes X-rays and finds no cavities or other issues, you can be confident that he has seen the whole picture.

Valuable Diagnostic Tool
X-rays are also called radiographs. They allow our dentist to see inside and between your teeth. X-rays also makes the tooth roots and bone beneath the gums visible. Digital X-rays can be used as part of a routine examination or to diagnose a specific dental problem.

Radiographs are often used to check the oral cavity for cavities and evaluate the extent of decay. Because some X-rays show the tooth roots, cysts, abscesses, and other masses can be diagnosed and treated. Impacted teeth or missing teeth can also be identified in this way. Jawbone loss because of gum disease can also be detected with dental X-rays.

Types of X-Rays
Periapical, bitewing, and panoramic are the most common types of X-rays used in dental offices. During routine exams, our team may take two to four bitewing X-rays — which show the portion of the teeth that sits above the gums — to look for signs of decay between the teeth. Periapical X-rays are used if we need to see the tips of the tooth roots or the teeth’s bone height. Panoramic X-rays are taken from outside the mouth. They produce an image of the entire oral cavity. Because of this, panoramic X-rays can identify impacted teeth, cysts, tumors, bone irregularities, and tumors.

Other X-ray types include occlusal and cephalometric. Occlusal X-rays are sometimes used to evaluate the developing teeth in children. Cephalometric X-rays are used to plan orthodontic treatment.

During your next dental checkup, Dr. Michael B. Wilhite may decide to use digital imaging in Davidson, North Carolina. We welcome you to contact Davidson Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today to learn more about digital X-rays and to schedule your next appointment with our dentist. Our team is happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to seeing you!