Digital Imaging and X-Rays

In recent years, advances in x-ray and imaging technology have given us a phenomenal tool that not only allows for huge improvements in diagnostic ability and patient education but also allows us to significantly improve patient safety. At Smiles of Carolina, our goal is to give you the best and safest dental care possible, which is why we use digital imaging and digital x-rays.

Dental X-Rays and Radiation

X-rays have been a mainstay in all fields of medicine, including dentistry, practically since their discovery. Unfortunately, x-rays use radiation, and scientists have sought for years to make x-rays safer for patients and for staff members. Traditional film x-rays have improved to the point where very only a very small amount of radiation is necessary and numerous precautions are now taken to shield vital organs from the majority of the x-rays.

Digital x-rays reduce your radiation exposure even further -- by up to 90% when compared to traditional film x-rays. We feel that this is a huge advantage. Radiation exposure is cumulative; it builds up in your body. While each x-ray you get only exposes you to a small amount of radiation, consider how many x-rays you get in the course of your lifetime. With digital dental x-rays and imaging, the amount of radiation you are exposed to is reduced to practically nil.

One common question patients ask is why are x-rays necessary at all? X-rays are one of dentistry’s most important diagnostic tools. When things go wrong in your mouth, it often happens deep inside your tooth, between your teeth, or under your gum line. If we only used a visual examination, we wouldn’t be able to catch these problems when they’re small; we’d have to wait until they are easily visible, and by that time, they are likely to be painful and more time-intensive to fix. With digital x-rays, you get the benefit of x-ray technology without the risk.

Other Advantages of Digital X-Rays and Imaging

The incredible reduction in radiation exposure aside, digital x-rays and imaging tools have other features that allow us to save you time and hassle during your appointment:

  • Digital images take no time to develop, so your appointment doesn’t have to come to a halt while we wait for your x-rays to develop. In a matter of seconds, your x-rays will be available for viewing.
  • Digital x-rays are viewed on a computer monitor. This allows us to show you your x-rays right at chairside.
  • Because the image is digital, it can easily be enhanced or have color added to highlight areas. With these features, we can more easily explain what is going on in your mouth so you can have a better understanding of why we are recommending a procedure.
  • Digital images are easily stored in your electronic medical record. This allows for faster retrieval in the future. Also, should you move or need to see another provider, we can instantly transfer your x-rays via email instead of having to wait days for the film to be delivered.

Call Smiles of Carolina today for an examination and see for yourself the difference digital imaging can make!