At Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, our Raleigh-area dentists strive to provide patients with top-notch care at all times. Part of that means using state-of-the-art technology during appointments to ensure that our diagnoses and treatment plans are as effective as possible. We are proud to use digital dental X-rays in our offices to take a close look at our patients’ teeth and develop a treatment protocol that will work to give them a healthy set of teeth.
A digital X-ray, or radiograph, is similar to a traditional X-ray in that they both give your dentist a chance to see things in your mouth that otherwise couldn’t be seen. This includes the parts of teeth that are touching, the inner structure of the teeth, and the jawbone.
Unlike traditional X-rays, though, digital X-rays use a small sensor instead of the sharp, often painful, X-ray film tabs. Thanks to a wire connecting the sensor to our computer, we are able to take X-rays of your mouth and have the images sent directly to the computer within seconds. At Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, we take two kinds of digital X-rays: intraoral images are taken from inside the mouth while extraoral are taken outside the mouth. The most common intraoral X-rays are called bitewing X-rays. These are the ones you’re likely most familiar with. We take these quickly while you sit in the dental chair. A panoramic X-ray is the most common extraoral X-ray. With this type, you stand still while a machine rotates around your head and takes a single image of your entire mouth.
Depending on your oral health, you may need X-rays at each exam or only once every couple of years. We use dental X-rays to keep an eye on the health of your mouth, so if we notice a potential problem, we may recommend frequent X-rays to watch the development and make sure any treatment plan we begin is successful.
Dental X-rays emit very little radiation, and digital X-rays emit up to 90% less radiation than traditional X-rays. X-rays are considered a very safe diagnostic tool, but we always cover you with a lead vest to provide extra protection against radiation.
If you are pregnant, let your hygienist know at the beginning of your appointment. While X-rays are generally safe, we want to limit the amount of radiation your baby is exposed to. We will only take X-rays in the case of a dental emergency.
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