By Dr. Christine Binert
In the late 1800s, what we think of as “traditional x-rays” first came into medical use.
In 1987, the world of dental x-rays changed significantly when digital x-rays started showing up in dental practices – and it was a substantial change for both patients like you and for doctors like me.
Both traditional and digital x-rays give us an expanded understanding of teeth, bone, roots, and tissue, and because of that, we can see dental structures that otherwise would be concealed.
Here’s a list of what we can uncover with x-rays:
- decay above & below the gumline
- impacted teeth
- tooth fractures
- status of developing teeth
- problems with relationship between teeth & jaws
- jaw bone loss
- malignant masses
- benign tumors.
Even so, digital x-rays have upped the game. Here’s how:
- Immediate results – A small highly sensitive receptor is placed in your mouth and captures information that can be saved electronically (super-useful archive system), shared with you immediately on a high-resolution monitor (such a great tool to explain proposed treatment plans), and sent to your insurance provider to support your claims. And because there’s no processing, it means less time for you in the chair.
- Lower radiation – The dosage with digital x-rays are up to 90% lower than traditional, and according to the Canadian Dental Association website, they deliver “very little radiation” and are a “vital tool to ensure that small problems don’t develop into bigger ones.” The American Dental Association’s stance is that radiation exposure is “similar to the dose received during a cross-country airplane flight.”
- Environmentally friendly – Digital x-rays don’t use film, so we’ve done away with chemicals needed to develop the film.
Dental x-rays are an important part of your oral exam. It almost goes without saying that the more we know about your oral health, the better we can treat you and help you achieve your smile goals.
When you’re in next and we suggest an x-ray, let us know if you have any questions. My team and I will be happy to answer them. See you soon!
Dr. Chris Binert graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry, 1983 with honors. She has been a member of the Ontario Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association since her graduation.
Dr. Binert is currently an instructor at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, and has taught there for over 25 years. She is currently the Director of the Dental Care Group.