Polinsky Dentistry
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Digital X-Rays

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.

Digital X-Rays

Many of our health-conscious patients are curious about the necessity of dental x-rays because they are concerned about radiation exposure. We understand, and we are here to help you make the best choices for your smile.

Digital dental x-rays are extremely safe and reduce radiation emission by up to 80 percent over traditional dental x-rays. That may mean little to you at first, but it may help to know that dental x-rays have always emitted considerably less radiation than nearly all other types of medical x-rays.

Radiation is all around us, and you actually have more radiation exposure by being outside on a clear day than you will have from your routine dental x-rays.

Not only are digital dental x-rays safe for you, but they are also better for our environment because they eliminate the need for chemicals required to develop film x-rays. 

Digital dental x-rays are also superior because they are more convenient – we have an instant image that appears on our treatment room monitors for immediate evaluation by our dentist. We store these images securely in your digital chart and can access them quickly to monitor oral health changes that occur over time.

If you ever have questions about why we recommend periodic dental x-rays, or if you need them at your next dental exam, contact us. Our knowledgeable team is available to help.

While our dentists can diagnose many conditions with a visual exam, we cannot always see what is happening beneath your protective tooth enamel or below your gumline. Digital dental x-rays make this possible and allow us to make an earlier diagnosis, potentially saving you time and money and allowing us to treat conditions before they become critical – or painful.

By offering digital dental x-rays, we have significantly improved the safety of the care we provide. Digital dental x-rays emit up to 80 percent less radiation than traditional x-rays and give us instant access to high-resolution images for proper diagnosis of conditions such as bone loss, decay, and infection.

The cost of dental x-rays is low compared to complex restorative dentistry, making them a good investment in your oral health and the appearance of your smile. Without them, we would only have part of the story when it comes to your health, and the rest would be left to chance.

If you have questions about the necessity, safety, or process of digital dental x-rays, we encourage you to call or ask at your next appointment. We are dedicated to providing quality dentistry that supports a healthy, comfortable smile, and we look forward to hearing from you.

As with all dental treatment, we personalize your dentistry to meet your health needs and will make recommendations designed to keep you healthy and comfortable. According to the ADA, for most patients, yearly x-rays are enough to evaluate your teeth, bone, and gums and identify any conditions that put your oral health at risk.

If you suffer from gum disease (periodontal disease) or you have a history of losing teeth, we may recommend x-rays more frequently. Conversely, if you do not have significant dentistry or a history of tooth decay, we may be able to schedule x-rays every two years if you remain healthy.

Here are some of the different types of x-rays commonly offered:

  • Bitewing x-rays – checks for dental decay (yearly)
  • Full mouth x-rays – examines the tooth structure from crown to root and assesses bone levels (every 3 to 5 years)
  • Periapical x-rays – typically used for restorative dentistry or emergency dental appointments when an image of the whole tooth structure is needed (as needed)
  • Panoramic x-rays – takes a comprehensive image of all of your teeth at once and includes your jaw joints, bone, and dental anatomy (every 3 to 5 years)

Every patient is different, and the timelines listed above are a generalization based on averages. We will adjust your x-ray recall schedule to ensure you always have up-to-date information regarding your oral health.

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