What are X-rays used for?Nicholas G. Dose, MD, uses X-rays (also known as radiographs) in order to effectively inspect your teeth and mouth for hidden issues. Using X-rays allows us to see hidden issues before they become larger problems.
X-rays allow us to inspect your teeth for decay which may not be readily apparent from the outside. Most patients are aware that teeth can develop cavities or other forms of decay on the surface; however, many patients are completely unaware that decay may develop inside the tooth long before it is visible on the outside of the tooth. Using an X-ray allows us to look inside your teeth to inspect for hidden signs of decay or other issues.
In addition, teeth can sometimes develop fluid-filled sacs at their bases. Resting below the gumline, these sacs—called cysts—can be completely undetectable by means of a visual inspection. Fortunately, through the use of X-rays, we can locate these sacs and ascertain whether they are likely to present a problem long before they actually become visible.
Impacted teeth—teeth that are growing in crooked, or not even breaking out of the gum—can cause a tremendous amount of pain and suffering to a patient. What’s worse, if a dentist has no way to view inside the gums, he or she would need to engage in exploratory surgery to determine whether a tooth is impacted. Luckily the need for exploratory surgery is negated through the use of X-rays to look under the gumline for impacted, crooked, or otherwise troublesome teeth.
Finally, the presence of tumors is something that can now be detected through the use of X-rays. No longer do patients need to wait until the tumor grows to the point of detection from the outside; instead, by using X-rays, we can locate these and determine a course of treatment long before they become a serious problem.
What are digital X-rays?A digital X-ray is a new technological development that changes the way with which X-rays are taken. Instead of using the old method of shooting rays onto a piece of film, a digital X-ray is displayed on a computer monitor. It is quickly available for review, meaning that we can review your X-rays the same visit instead of having to wait for the film to be developed.
Digital X-rays use significantly less radiation than their traditional counterpart. A digital X-ray will expose the patient to up to 90% less radiation than a traditional X-ray. And, because they do not require slides of film that must be developed, we are able to avoid using chemicals that harm the environment when we develop them.
If you need X-rays, or if you are unsure as to whether you need X-rays, call Nicholas G. Dose, MD, today at (503) 765-7300. We are happy to talk with you and help you make the best decision for your dental health.