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Our doctors use the latest in diagnostic tools when treating our patients. These include digital and panoramic x-rays, 3D imaging, and Cephalometric x-rays. We will explain all procedures as well as discussing the pros and cons of any procedure. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, be sure to tell the dentist. Today’s technology along with safety equipment such as thyroid collars and lead aprons make x-rays a safe and effective means of diagnosing dental problems.
Advancements in digital technology have resulted in x-ray techniques which use sensors instead of film to create the x-ray image. Digital imagery saves the time which was once required to process film and allows x-rays to be both computer enhanced and stored in data files. Also, according to the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene, digital x-rays exposes the patient to 70% less radiation than conventional x-rays making them one of the safest x-ray procedures available. (https://www.canadianacademyofdentalhygiene.ca/blog/digital-vs-conventional-radiography-dental-office.html)
Your dentist may suggest 3D imaging if it is felt that regular x-rays do not provide sufficient information to allow for a thorough evaluation. Three-dimensional imaging uses CT (computed tomography) scans from which three-dimensional images of your teeth, gums, bone, and nerve pathways can be developed. These provide the dentist a much better examination tool than ordinary x-rays.
A panoramic x-ray is a two-dimensional x-ray which captures the teeth, gums and soft tissue and upper and lower jaws in a single image. This type of x-ray is useful in diagnosing fractures, bone abnormalities, tumors, and other problems not always visible on regular digital x-rays.
Cephalometric x-rays provide a complete image of the side profile of the head. This type x-ray is most often used in orthodontic analysis and planning as well as to provide information related to ‘bite’ issues, fractures, and injuries to the teeth or jawbone.