Digital Dental X-Rays in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria

Digital dental x-rays, also known as dental radiographs, are images of your teeth and jaw that dentists use to evaluate your health. This allows your dentist to identify and diagnose potential problems like impacted teeth, cavities, tooth decay, and more. 

Learn more about the different types of dental x-rays and how they help us provide the best dental care possible. Schedule an appointment now!

digital dental x-rays for patients receiving orthodontic treatment

Why Are X-Rays Used In Dentistry?

Digital dental x-rays are invaluable tools in dentistry. This is because they help dentists understand the internal condition of your teeth and jaw. With comprehensive dental radiographs, we can identify and treat dental problems that may not be detectable in a physical exam.

How Often Are Dental X-Rays Needed?

Usually, x-rays are only required annually. However, there is no hard or fast rule for how often you should get dental x-rays because your timeframe will depend on your oral health, age, and disease risk or symptoms. 

For example, children need x-rays pretty frequently, as their teeth are always developing, and are at a higher risk of tooth decay. However, adults may need x-rays more frequently. Your dentist will look at your history and disease risks and let you know when you need imaging.

What Issues Can Digital Dental X-Rays Detect?

Digital dental x-rays are capable of detecting many different dental conditions. They can identify tooth decay, bone loss, root canal problems, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and more. They are also helpful in monitoring children’s oral growth, wisdom tooth development, impacted teeth, and adult teeth eruption.

an orthodontist giving a male patient an oral exam

Types Of Dental X-Rays

There are many different types of dental x-rays. There are intraoral x-rays (where the x-ray is taken inside the mouth), extraoral x-rays (where the x-ray is taken outside of the mouth), and other imaging categories beneath these two types.

Intraoral X-rays

Intraoral x-rays are the most common imaging method. These x-rays are taken inside the mouth, providing detail about cavities, tooth root and bone health, developing teeth, and more. Intraoral x-rays include:

Extraoral X-rays

Extraoral x-rays are used when there are potential issues in the jaw or skull. These are used to look for impacted teeth, growth monitoring, TMJ, or other issues surrounding the teeth and gums. Extraoral x-rays include:

an adult male sitting on an orthodontic chair and looking back with a smile

What Are The Benefits Of Digital X-Rays?

Unlike traditional x-rays, which require film development in a darkroom, digital dental x-rays create an image that can be viewed and analyzed on a computer. This technology allows for instant visibility, so your dentist can show you where the problem lies. 

Modern software compares previous imaging with new imaging, allowing us to understand changes that occur over time. Plus, these electronic files can be easily sent to other specialists for a second opinion or further treatment.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

X-rays only emit a small, controlled amount of radiation, which means you are highly unlikely to develop any issues due to radiation. We also give you protective gear to reduce the amount of radiation you are exposed to. 

Traditional x-rays also limit the body’s exposure to radiation, and every precaution is taken to ensure that exposure is negligible. That being said, new digital dental x-rays technology emits 90% less radiation, making dental imaging safer than ever!

Get Your Dental X-Rays in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria

In addition to your bi-yearly cleaning appointments, getting digital dental x-rays is a necessary part of maintaining your dental health. Depending on factors like your age or health, your dentist will let you know when you should get imaging.

Digital dental radiographs are quick, easy, and allow us to provide you with the best quality dental care. Schedule an appointment to learn more about our digital dental x-ray options!

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