During the past three decades, dentistry has witnessed great advances in all its branches. Consequently, the need for more precise diagnostic tools, specifically imaging methods, has become mandatory. From the simple intra-oral periapical X-rays to advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging, cone beam computed tomography, computed tomography, and ultrasound have also found their place in modern dentistry. Moving from analog to digital radiography has not only made the process simpler and faster, but has also made image storage, manipulation, and retrieval easier. Three-dimensional imaging has made the complex craniofacial structures more accessible for examination and for the early and accurate diagnosis of conditions that range from mild to severe. Some of these innovative technologies will be discussed in this article.
Among the most commonly used dental imaging techniques, digital x-rays are useful as they do not expose you to as much radiation as film x-rays tend to do. The imaging results help our dentist identify any growths or abnormalities in the gums, teeth and enamel with ease. The x-ray machine is connected to a computer that showcases the image within minutes of being taken. This not only makes your dental appointment shorter, it also allows our dentist to view the results immediately instead of having to wait hours or days.
Another common dental x-ray, the intraoral camera, is used when our dentist needs to take x-rays which show the interior of your mouth as clearly as possible. In this case, the camera is largely focused on the inside of your mouth.
There are three different types of intraoral x-rays that are used:
Periapical x-ray – This x-ray reveals the entire tooth, from where it starts at the jaw to the enamel. This is important to identify any unusual growths, abnormalities, or changes that might can occur at the root, near the gum, or even other bone structures.
Bitewing x-ray – Focusing on the enamel of the teeth, bitewing x-rays are essential for identifying cavities and tooth decay which might occur even between the teeth. Tooth decay caused by gum diseases are also easy to identify with this tool. Sometimes for replacement or renewing of fillings, the bitewing x-ray can be used to identify the level of deterioration that has taken place.
Occlusal x-ray – This allows for a bigger look at the placement and arch of all the teeth. This is largely used to identify alignment problems and to fix them with the help of braces or other dental procedures.
These are the most common types of intraoral x-rays which are taken with the help of an intraoral camera. Our dentist makes use of any of these based on the kind of dental problem you experience.
Digital dental imaging makes it easier for our dentist to diagnose oral diseases and abnormalities. Images are usually taken after our dentist has conducted an initial examination and the technology to be used will be determined according to your age and dental history, among other factors.
Our dentist in Largo, Florida is experienced in the use of advanced tools and technology for the treatment and diagnosis of dental diseases. Call us at 727-585-3858 for an appointment or come by the office today to discuss any concerns you may have with our dentist.