Digital radiography (x-ray) is a form of X-ray imaging. A digital sensor is used instead of a traditional photographic film. These digital sensors are much easier and efficient due to reduced time in the mouth when taking the radiograph. The benefits also include less radiation. The digital sensors are more responsive than the film so there is less radiation required. Read More
The digital radiographs are faster and much more comfortable.
Digital radiographs has also eliminated the need for copying a film, now the radiographs can be sent to other professionals. There are many benefits to the patient when using the digital radiography.
The Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act (HARP) is a very important regulator of practising dentist and dental educators. The HARP who is administered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was passed in 1980. The safety regulations (X-ray Safety Code) is applicable to the Dental Advisory Committee to the HARP Commission whose members include dental educators and practising dentist. This legislation specifies the standards of the x-ray machines to outline the highest possible level of patient safety.
Dental x-rays are essential diagnostic tools used to provide viable information. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to accurately and safely detect dental abnormalities and design a complete treatment plan.
Dental x-rays can reveal:
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
- Development abnormalities
- Abscesses or cysts
Dental x-rays are perfectly and completely safe. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of dental x-rays is equivalent to that which a person receives in a single day from natural sources. It is not a harmful dosage at all. As well, dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient exposure to radiation, which includes using lead aprons and using digital x-rays that cuts down the exposure for each x-ray taken.
Dental x-rays are a common procedure and their frequency will depend on each patient’s individual health needs. X-rays will be taken based on a review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age, and risk for diseases. A series of dental x-rays is always recommended for new patients. X-rays of the top and bottom teeth biting together, called bitewing x-rays, are recommended once or twice a year.