Our team at Advanced Family Dentistry utilizes the most advanced dentistry technology for diagnosing the health of your teeth and gums. Digital radiography, as opposed to conventional x-ray practices, was first introduced to the United States in 1987 following the invention of radiovisiography. Since then, the imaging technology used in dental practice has improved even further, making detecting issues easier and more cost-effective. Digital radiography is much more useful than traditional x-rays in terms of seeing and correctly diagnosing dental issues. Our skilled dentists and imaging staff have many years of experience using this technology.
How Does Digital Radiography Work?
There are three types of digital radiography: direct, semi-direct, and indirect. The direct method involves placing a sensor in the mouth which records images that can be examined. The indirect method uses conventional x-ray technology (film scanners), but the images are stored and viewed digitally. The semi-direct method is a combination of the two. Our dentists can help determine which method is best for you depending on your individual circumstances.
Intraoral vs. Extraoral Digital Radiography
Images taken from inside the mouth are called "intraoral" x-rays, and images taken from outside the mouth are called "extraoral" x-rays. Intraoral images show more detail than extraoral, including the health of individual teeth and checking for any cavities. Extraoral images are useful for diagnosing problems with the jaw, most notable temporomandibular joints (TMJ), the connection between the upper and lower jaw. Depending on any symptoms you have, either might be ideal for uncovering underlying dental issues in your case.
Examples of intraoral radiography are "bitewing" images, taken by biting down and capturing the image. This show how the bottom and top teeth on one side of the mouth fit together. Bitewing images also show how well crowns and fillings are functioning. "Periapical" images are useful for looking at the roots of the teeth and are often required for diagnosing the extent and type of gum disease.
For extraoral images, we often use "panoramic" images to examine the entirety of the upper and lower jaw in a single image. They can show how wisdom teeth are coming in as well as diagnosing TMJ disorders. "Sialography" refers to the injection of radiopaque contrast agent into the salivary glands which can illuminate issues with these glands. A dysfunctional salivary gland system can impair the optimal utility of saliva in the mouth and potentially cause dental issues.
These are just a few examples of the digital radiography that we perform in our clinic. We can determine the exact type of imaging that you need depending upon an examination of your mouth and any symptoms that you may present with.
As part of any routine dental examination, we perform all necessary imaging work to deliver the best care that you may need. To schedule a visit to our office do get in touch with us at Advanced Family Dentistry at (765) 287-5338 today. It is crucial that you receive the best imaging possible so that we know how best to treat you. We will work with your insurer to try and minimize any out of pocket costs.