Digital Radiography (CDR)
Dental x-rays can now be taken using sensors that transmit the
image directly into a computer monitor. This larger image helps
the patient understand the doctor's explanations more easily and
enables the doctor to "zoom in" on a specific area of
the tooth. An important advantage to this new technology is that
it reduces the amount of radiation by 90%. Digital x-rays are also
faster. The digital image only takes 20 seconds to appear in the
monitor. In addition, this new technology is friendly to the environment
since no chemicals are needed for developing the image.
are Dental X-rays?
What most people call X-rays are actually X-ray photographs (also
known as radiographs). An image is made using X-rays, which are
similar to sunlight, but of a shorter wavelength, and able to show
us what's below the surface of a tooth. Even though we call them
X-rays, we are actually referring to the image created by
Why are Dental X-rays Necessary?
X-rays are the only way to identify problems that aren't externally
visible. X-rays are very essential in doing a complete and thorough
dental examination. They are especially important in diagnosing
serious conditions early to allow for effective treatment before
you experience discomfort. X-rays show bone anatomy and density,
decay between the teeth or how extensive
the decay is, whether an abscess is
present, impacted teeth, or if children
have permanent teeth.
No cavity on first x-ray.
Months later, cavities that start between
the teeth can't be seen by visual examination, but they can
be detected on an x-ray.
This cavity was detected and filled before the patient felt any
discomfort, and before the nerve became infected or the tooth became
There is another cavity shown in the X-ray on the right. Can you
find it? It's difficult for the untrained eye to spot. Click here to see where it is. (Hint: It's not the
left edge of the top left tooth. That's just the edge of the
frame around the X-ray).
How Often Do I Need Dental X-rays?
The number and type of X-rays you will need depends on several
factors such as age, current dental health, and external signs that
may trigger a cause for concern. We are sensitive, however, to your
concerns about exposure to radiation, and we only perform those
X-ray procedures that are necessary for your continued dental health.
Still Have Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns about dental X-rays, feel
free to discuss them with any of our staff. They are highly trained
in the prudent and effective use of dental X-rays and share your
concerns about exposure levels.
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