Radiography is the way in which our team captures x-rays of our patients’ oral cavity in order to learn more about their teeth. This is because not everything can be seen by the naked eye. Conventionally, x-rays were captured via film and physically processed with chemicals. However, dental technology has advanced, and our office now uses digital x-rays. Digital radiography makes the processing time shorter and the x-ray more informative to our oral surgeons. At Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry, our team uses digital radiography to increase the scope of care for our patients by allowing us access to information that was not achievable before.
WHY ARE X-RAYS USED IN ORAL SURGERY?
X-rays are used in two main aspects of our office: in the preliminary stages of a procedure to assess the course of the treatment, and during a surgery to give accurate information on how to perform it. When a patient comes into our office with an oral complication, and our professionals cannot see everything we need to diagnose the problem, our team will take an x-ray. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as the patients’ issue relating to a part of the mouth that concealed is beneath the gumline, the patients’ issue having a number of different causes, or the patients’ issue having one or more possible treatments. X-rays are used during surgeries to help inform us how our team should proceed with the surgery. In a root canal, x-rays are used several times to identify different aspects of the procedure such as the length of the canal, the extent of cleaning needed, and confirmation that the crown is securely fitted.
WHY ARE DIGITAL X-RAYS BETTER THAN CONVENTIONAL X-RAYS?
X-rays can be used during surgery, and receiving information quickly means a swifter conclusion to the operation. The development of a film x-ray can take 1 minute, but a digital x-ray takes 2 seconds. That difference can be significant if multiple x-rays are being taken. One other important benefit is that conventional x-rays use up to 70% more radiation than digital x-rays. This makes the use of digital radiography safer for the patient, as it emits the lowest possible radiation into the patient. Digital x-rays do not need to be processed via chemicals, which has multiple benefits in itself. The obvious benefit is time, as it makes it faster for the information to transfer from the machine to the oral surgeon. Secondly, the data of an x-ray is easily transferable from one oral surgeon’s office to another in case a patient relocates. Also, the digital x-ray can be enhanced using photo editing tools, such as contrast and zoom, which is unachievable through the use of conventional radiography.
Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry uses digital radiography because it is safer for our patients, it helps us identify complications, and it aids the performance of our surgeries to a more accurate degree. If you have any concerns over the use of digital radiography, you can talk to one of our oral surgeons who can explain the process to you. To book an appointment now, contact our office at (360) 456-1200.