Digital X-Rays and Imaging
At Life Smiles Dental Care Dr. Paul Nielson, Dr. Jim Schmidt, and Dr. Joseph Santoro provide general and cosmetic dentistry to preserve and restore your smile to its full potential. Our practice is dedicated to giving you the safest and most convenient treatment options available—and this applies to our diagnostic procedures, as well.
One of the most important tools we use to understand and assess your dental health is our digital x-ray and imaging systems. These give us a clear picture of what is happening in a patient’s mouth, in the areas that can’t be seen with the naked eye. They let us see tooth decay and infections below the gum line and help us determine whether a cavity is deep enough to require a root canal treatment, for example.
In the past, x-ray films sometimes took a day or more to be processed and delivered to dentists, but now we have more advanced in-office x-ray technology that lets us see the images almost immediately.
Contact our Phoenix, AZ dental office today at 602-485-3521 if you are interested in learning more about the ways digital imaging can enhance your dental care experience.
Benefits of Digital Radiography
Digital x-rays offer several benefits, not least of which is that they expose you to less radiation than traditional x-rays. In the course of one’s life, many radiographic images may be taken, for everything from broken bones to tuberculosis screening. We know you will rest easier knowing that your dental x-rays expose you to 80-90% less radiation than standard x-rays.
Another benefit is that the radiographic images are viewed on digital screens, which means the resolution is higher, and thus greater detail can be discerned, and smaller areas can be enlarged and enhanced. The fine art of reading a blurry x-ray is no longer necessary, as images are now clearer than ever before. For patients this means that, in addition to having a concern explained to you by your dentist, you can now actually see the problem yourself on a screen, with fully visible details.
Furthermore, the process of taking a digital x-ray is far more comfortable than that for traditional x-rays. No more enormous machines and lead bibs are needed. Instead of positioning a large, sharp bite film in between your teeth, we can now place a small sensor in the mouth to capture a radiographic image. Digital imaging is also considered to be more environmentally friendly, as it alleviates the need for chemicals, film, and storage cabinets.
Perhaps the most tangible benefit for our patients is time. Digital x-rays are available for viewing almost immediately. No longer must x-ray film be developed off-site. With just a few clicks, we can upload your x-ray and immediately determine the next steps in your treatment. For our patients experiencing painful dental emergencies, this can shorten your waiting period and bring you faster relief.
Intraoral Diagnostic Imaging
In addition to digital radiography, we also use a small intra-oral camera, approximately the size of a pen, to examine your mouth at all angles. This camera can capture minute details, for better detection and diagnosis of dental health issues. Thanks to the camera’s ability to capture images in low light and hard-to-reach areas, we can diagnose the earliest stages of tooth decay, fractures, and gum disease.
During diagnostic imaging, anything we find can be captured and magnified, so we can show you the problem during your consultation, on a digital screen. Communication between a dentist and patient is simplified immensely when we don’t have to rely on verbal descriptions to explain everything. Now you can see for yourself and better understand both the diagnosis and treatment options.
Better Record Keeping for Long-Term Care
Digital radiography and intraoral imaging allow us to digitally capture and record data and build digital records of your dental history over time, so we can more effectively chart your progress in the long-term. Whatever comes up, we now have faster access to your dental history; this lets us know you better and take better care of you, come what may.
Contact our Phoenix, AZ dental office today at 602-485-3521 if you are interested in learning more about the ways digital imaging can enhance your dental experience.