Dental X-Rays

Dental X-Rays in Fairfield, CT

Digital X-rays provide early diagnosis for many oral health issues. If you are looking for a dentist in Fairfield, CT who offers fully digital dental imaging, contact our office today at (203) 259-7073.

How do Dental X-Rays Assist in Dental Treatment?

If you have ever visited the dentist, you have likely had x-rays done during a dental check-up. X-rays are an essential tool to check for problems that may not be visible in a clinical dental examination. They assist dentist in providing proper diagnosis and treatment options. X-ray pictures have saved countless teeth by providing quality images for the dentist to provide a highly informed diagnosis to guide their treatment options.

Dentist use X-rays in different ways, depending on the nature of your visit. Our office uses X-rays to:

  • Detect early tooth decay or cavities
  • Plan for placement of dental restorations such as dental implants for missing teeth
  • Detect gum disease
  • Detect cysts or other types of tumors
  • Detect abscesses
  • Detect bone loss in the jaw due to periodontal disease

What are the Types of Dental X-Rays?

The most common intraoral X-rays are:

  • Bitewings: Typically used for detection of cavities in between natural teeth, or at the margins of any dental restorations including crowns and fillings. These are also used to monitor bone levels.
  • Occlusal: Shows the roof or floor of the mouth and are used to find extra teeth, impacted teeth, teeth that have yet erupted, jaw fractures, cysts, or abscesses. These are typically used in the pediatric population.
  • Panoramic: Shows a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nose, and jaw joints of the dental patient to detect bone abnormalities, impacted teeth, cysts, infections, and fractures. These X-rays show wisdom teeth very well.
  • Periapical: Shows the entire tooth from the exposed crown to the end of the root. It also shows the bone and the ligaments that support the tooth. They are used to find dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays be Taken?

The ADA, in collaboration with the FDA, recommends a personalized approach when determining how frequently dental X-rays are taken. Although dental radiation is minimal, we aim to be as conservative as possible when getting the X-rays that we need.

Dr. Lee will consider varying factors, including the patient’s age, their current oral health, risk for tooth decay or gum disease, and a patient’s overall medical health when determining a patient’s X-ray interval. She’s a strong believers in the ALARA principle– a guiding principle for radiation safety,  stating that healthcare professionals should use “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” to get the diagnostic information needed.

When you come in for your appointment at Aesthetic Dentistry of Fairfield, our doctor will discuss your specific recommended interval based on your individual needs. X-rays are an important diagnostic tool used for early detection, and good clinical judgment will be used when prescribing X-rays for individual patients. 

CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography)

Dental cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT, is a particular type of three-dimensional technology that has provided a major step forward in dental medicine. We may use this technology to produce 3D images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan.

The name comes from the cone-shaped beam of X-rays the CBCT machine projects as it rotates around the person’s head, taking multiple images that show on a computer screen. This digital technology is helpful for more complex cases that involve:

  • Surgical planning for impacted teeth or reconstructive oral surgery
  • Accurate placements of dental implants
  • Evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, and nasal cavity
  • Detecting and measuring jaw tumors
  • Determining bone structure and tooth structure

During a CBCT examination, a C-arm rotates around the head in a 360-degree rotation while capturing multiple slices of images from all different angles. These images are reconstructed to create a single 3 dimensional image. This procedure requires no preparation from you and typically takes only 10 to 30 seconds to complete. You will be asked to remove anything that may interfere with the imaging, including jewelry, eyeglasses, hair pins or hearing aids.

Concerns About Radiation Exposure

Advancements in technology have made X-ray imaging safer and faster for patients. Digital X-ray technology has virtually replaced traditional paper X-ray films since they provide safer, higher-quality images while minimizing radiation exposure by using the lowest radiation dose possible.

Nearly every diagnostic testing procedure carries some risk, so you and your healthcare provider need to weigh the benefits against the risks. We do everything we can to keep the radiation exposure as low as possible for the safety of our patients.

Dr. Lee will only use X-rays when the benefit of obtaining diagnostic information outweighs the procedure’s small risk. This is particularly true of CBCT scans. No matter which technology is being used, each patient is considered individually, and your safety is always our highest priority.

For more information on the digital X-rays and CBCT technology we use in our dental office in Fairfield, CT, or to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact our office directly at (203) 259-7073.

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