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What Makes Digital X-Rays Better?
May 09, 2017  |  Dental Technologies

What Makes Digital X-Rays Better?

Digital X-rays or Traditional Radiographs?


X-rays, or Traditional radiographs, have long been used in Dentistry. Traditional film x-rays are a safe and effective part of your dental care. They do require a small amount of radiation. In our office, we utilize Digital X-ray technology. This provides the benefits of the film imaging but uses up to 80 % less radiation. With our advanced digital x-rays, we can view your teeth and surrounding structures with remarkable accuracy.

Unlike traditional x-rays, digital x-rays require no wait time for the film to develop. Instead, the images are available on the computer screen within seconds. These images can then be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. Digital x-rays can be stored, printed or even electronically transmitted to a specialist or laboratory if needed.

Intraoral x-rays create an image of teeth, bone and tissues inside of the mouth. This image can be used for prevention, diagnosis and treatment planning. Depending on the need, these images can be used to identify or diagnose potential oral health issues that are not visible to the naked eye. Some of these issues may include:

  • Tooth decay

  • Cracks or Fractures

  • Impacted Teeth

  • Tooth Root Infection – Abscess

  • Bone Loss

  • Cysts, Tumors or other abnormal growths


How Often Do You Need X-rays?


How frequently do we take x-rays? It depends on the person.

  • Children and Teenagers are more cavity prone. We recommend Bitewing x-rays once per year to check for cavities – this can be 2 or 4 films taken to show between the teeth. They also have many changes happening in their mouth with baby teeth falling out and permanent teeth coming in. We monitor their growth and the alignment of the teeth with a Panoramic X-Ray. This is taken every 3 -5 years.  This type of film is good for checking for third molars or Wisdom Teeth.


  • Adult Frequency for Bitewings is once per year. We take something called a Full Mouth Series once every 3 -5 years which shows us very detailed pictures of all the teeth and surrounding structures.


 Factors that can change frequency of X-rays



  • Multiple Dental Restorations

  • Periodontal Disease

  • Dry Mouth – increase cavity risk

  • Tobacco Use

  • Orthodontics

  • Root Canal Therapy


Your safety is our primary concern. Before having a digital x-ray taken in our office, be sure to let us know if any of the following apply to you.

  • Have had another x-ray in another office within the past year.

  • You are or may be pregnant

  • You have any questions or concerns about x-rays