Technological advances have leveled up dental imaging for dentists, as well as their patients.
Technology has become a critical part of our daily lives, from how we connect with family and friends to how business is conducted in our careers. It comes as no surprise that technology has drastically improved the healthcare industry as well, including the world of dentistry.
You might have already noticed some differences in the tools and technology used by your dentist today compared to what you remember as a child. As a patient of Monroe Family Dentistry, you’ll experience these advancements firsthand with digital X-rays and the use of an intraoral camera.
What are digital X-rays, and how do they improve your experience during your dental appointment?
X-rays are a very important part of a dental examination. X-rays allow your dentist to get an accurate idea of what’s going on in your mouth, especially how your teeth, gums, and bone structure look under the surface.
X-rays tell your dentist if you have a cavity, a cracked tooth, bone loss in your jaw, misaligned teeth, oral cancer, and so much more. This is why X-rays are taken during new patient examinations and yearly (or every couple of years) afterward.
Digital vs. Conventional Radiography
You know why X-rays are important, but what’s the difference between digital X-rays and conventional ones?
Getting traditional X-rays taken isn’t exactly a pleasant process for patients. You have to sit still with an uncomfortable mouthpiece, and if you accidentally wiggle or the X-ray simply doesn’t come out right, you’ll need to do it all over again. There’s also concern about radiation exposure, especially for patients with oral health trouble that requires frequent X-rays.
Digital X-rays, or digital radiography, is very similar to the process of conventional radiography. But where they differ is where digital X-rays show their numerous advantages over the old-school method.
Benefits of Digital X-Rays for Patients
Digital -Xrays have the huge benefit of reduced radiation exposure. A digital X-ray produces upward of 90% less radiation than conventional radiography!
Digital X-rays also don’t require the use of film in the same way traditional X-rays do. The sensor placed in your mouth captures a digital image of your mouth and sends it directly to your dentist’s computer. Since this eliminates the need to wait for the film to develop, your dental team can immediately see what’s going on.
Additionally, digital X-rays offer a high-resolution image compared to traditional X-rays. Being able to manipulate the image on a computer allows your dentist to literally zoom in on your X-ray images.
Image accuracy and the elimination of film means you, the patient, will experience a faster, easier dental examination. Your dentist will be able to review your digital X-rays and make a diagnosis quickly, which in turn allows you to start treatment as soon as possible.
The combination of digital X-rays and the use of an intraoral camera is double-trouble for any tooth decay or underlying oral health issues that may be lurking in your smile!
Intraoral cameras allow you and your dentist to see a more accurate picture of what’s going on in your mouth.
Intraoral cameras are a fantastic diagnostic tool used by Dr. Monroe. After digital X-rays have been taken, Dr. Monroe will use an intraoral camera to take a closer look at your teeth and gums.
How an Intraoral Camera Works
An intraoral camera is a relatively simple device, despite it being a very powerful tool. Intraoral cameras look similar to a large pen in shape. They are a handheld device with a built-in compact camera capable of taking high-resolution images and videos of your mouth.
Dr. Monroe will scan around your teeth and gums while watching the live video of what’s happening right on his computer screen. Even better, we’ll turn the screen to you so you can see exactly what the inside of your mouth looks like!
Benefits of Intraoral Cameras for Patients
The benefit most patients immediately love about intraoral cameras is the ability to get a dentist’s eye view of their mouth.
The average person only gets to see their teeth and gums through digital X-rays, images, or in their mirror at home. Being able to get a close-up look at their mouth can be a truly eye-opening experience. Many patients become even more interested in making their oral health a priority when they can see exactly how their teeth and gums look.
Additionally, many patients with dental anxiety can feel a sense of confidence when they can see the problem while Dr. Monroe explains how their treatment program will proceed.
Speaking of treatment programs, intraoral cameras really enhance your dentist’s ability to diagnose oral health problems. Accurate diagnoses mean more effective and efficient treatment for patients.
Ask us about our digital X-rays and intraoral cameras during your next dental appointment.
During your next dental appointment, ask Dr. Monroe about our digital X-rays and intraoral cameras. Depending on the nature of your appointment, Dr. Monroe may even use one or both of these awesome examples of dental technology!
If you’re due for a dental exam or cleaning or you’re looking to join our family as a new patient, call our office or fill out our online appointment request form to book a visit.