Digital X-Rays and Cameras

We use digital x-rays, intraoral camera technology, and precis imaging at our El Cajon, CA practice because we believe that it is important to stay up-to-date. In an industry like cosmetic dentistry, each new technological development can potentially change the way we work with smiles. If there is a new procedure that offers patients a better result with less pain than an older procedure, we want to offer it. That’s why here  at  Dental Arts San Diego we stay current with the latest dental technologies and developments.

If you’ve ever tried to hold perfectly still in an awkward position as you bite down on an impossibly rough and tasteless little piece of plastic while wearing a lead vest, then you know that having dental x-rays taken can be uncomfortable. Luckily, technology has found a way to make x-rays easier for patients and actually create better images than what traditional machines produce. Digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, now available in our El Cajon office, make diagnosis much easier and dental x-ray discomfort a thing of the past.  X-Rays for dental are used for general dental check-ups and can detect infection, tooth development for wisdom teeth and many other emergency dental screenings.

How Do Digital X-Rays Work?

Digital x-rays use a small sensor on the end of a wire that is placed inside the patient’s mouth and moved into position according to what part of the teeth the dentist wants to x-ray. Then the x-ray is taken and immediately appears on the dentist’s computer screen. Additional digital x-rays can be taken by simply repositioning the sensor and pressing a button. The patient does not need to move, and there is no waiting for the films to develop.

Once the x-rays are taken, the dentist can enlarge the images on the computer screen, which allows both the dentist and the patient to more easily see any problems that may need attention. The images can also be saved in the computer, creating an electronic record that is easy to store, retrieve, and transfer as needed. In addition, there is up to 90 percent less radiation exposure with digital x-rays as opposed to traditional systems.

The best way to remedy dental problems is to catch them as early as possible, which is why regular dental checkups are recommended. But no matter how skilled the dentist is or how bright a light he uses, it can be difficult to see well inside of a patient’s mouth. Even with a magnifying mirror, it is possible to miss the often tiny indicators of developing problems. The intraoral camera, used at our Bloomington, Illinois practice, is a technological advancement that makes it possible to not only detect the smallest of details, but also show these tiny defects to the patient and record them for later reference.

How does the Intraoral Camera Work?

About the size of a pen and with a tiny lens on the end, the intraoral camera is moved around inside the patient’s mouth, capturing video images that are transmitted to the dentist’s computer. The dentist can then freeze specific shots and examine the pictures of the patient’s teeth and gums, which can more easily reveal the beginnings of cavities, gum disease, or other dental maladies. These images can be enlarged, manipulated, and stored for improved diagnoses and easy record keeping.

The intraoral camera also allows patients to see for themselves what is going on inside their mouths. Often, a dentist may see a trouble spot, such as a small section of teeth that is being neglected during brushing, but can only describe the position and condition of these teeth to the patient. With the intraoral camera, the dentist can photograph the area and show the patient exactly what the teeth look like.