Digital radiography (digital X-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental X-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of X-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged, helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems more easily. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.
Dental X-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental consult. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, problem areas can go undetected.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital X-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital X-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, but they are also faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the X-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those X-rays that are necessary and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary X-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental consult, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
Panoramaix and Panorex X-rays are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
iTero Scanners are changing the face of routine dental appointments. The iTero Scanner gives the patient a unique view of each tooth – enabling them to understand diagnoses and make informed treatment decisions.
The iTero Scanner contains a pen-sized wand that is inserted into the mouth, and a movie of the inner mouth is created. This movie can be magnified more than 30x to allow every aspect of the teeth to be viewed in full color. The iTero Scanner is an incredibly valuable tool, which brings dentistry to life.
How can the iTero Scanner help?
Utilizing iTero Scanner is a completely comfortable process for patients and provides an honest assessment of the teeth. Here are some of an iTero Scanner’s main uses:
Treatment planning: No matter how well a dentist might describe a condition, it is easier to understand the issue if it can be seen. Seeing tooth decay and problem teeth helps patients understand why certain treatments are recommended for maximum health benefit and aesthetics.
Assessing progress: Some treatments impact the teeth slowly. The iTero Scanner allows treatment to be modified along the way, if necessary, to ensure the desired results are achieved.
Eliminating uncertainty: One of the most common patient fears is that a dentist is performing unnecessary treatments. The iTero Scanner highlights problem areas so that individuals are less likely to refuse necessary treatment.
How will the iTero Scanner be used?
The iTero Scanner is one of the most useful and versatile diagnostic tools available. At Stellar Smiles Ortho, we use the iTero Scanner to provide free Invisalign consults. With the iTero Scanner, you no longer have to sit through uncomfortable traditional messy impressions because the iTero Digital Scanner can get a clear alignment of your teeth alignment without traditional impressions. The iTero Scanner can even provide a simulation of what your smile will look like once you complete Invisalign treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about the iTero Scanner, please ask Dr. J at your next appointment.
Technology braces, sometimes called self-ligating, use unique and advanced technology to get results more quickly than traditional braces. The wires are lighter and use shape memory, so they don’t need tightening. With no elastics, this system reduces friction by using a sliding mechanism. Using the latest technology, we can provide you with images of what your facial structure will look like over time, which provides essential details for planning your treatment.
Similar to traditional braces, technology braces still require you to come in for periodic adjustments. During these appointments, Dr. J will evaluate your progress, making necessary changes to ensure your teeth continue to move to their new positions.
Although technology braces are very similar to traditional braces, they do offer some advantages that their traditional counterparts don’t, such as:
- No colorful rubber bands
- Easier to clean, brush, and floss teeth
- Smaller brackets tend to be more comfortable
- Shorter office visits without needing to change rubber bands
Technology braces are an excellent treatment option for anyone looking to have quick results and fewer office visits. Ask Dr. J if you are a candidate for technology braces at your next appointment!