Digital Radiography (X-Rays)

What We See is What We Get!

At Wood Dental, we proudly utilize the most state-of-the-art technology to ensure you receive optimal care. We’ve invested in a new, fast and pain-free way to look inside your mouth that provides incredibly precise results! With digital radiography, we can accurately diagnose your dental problems by clearly being able to identify external and internal anatomical structures – all in just a few minutes and with reduced radiation exposure! This new, advanced technology allows us to view immediate results chairside on a computer screen. This allows us to keep you, the patient, thoroughly informed of your treatment progress and options.

 

Reduced Radiation, Radical Results.
Normally, dentists use a series of X-rays to learn what’s going on inside your mouth. These X-rays are developed in a darkroom using chemicals and then the film is examined on a special light board. This burdensome process has been entirely out-dated by digital radiography. Patients can now simply relax in the dental chair as the dental assistant briefly positions a small sensor inside your mouth. Digital radiography provides instantaneous, high quality, digital images of your mouth. This allows us to view detailed images of your mouth from the convenience of a computer screen. We are able to rotate it, magnify it, adjust it for contrast and even color-shade it, if necessary. This revolutionary technology also allows us to store these images electronically, ultimately eliminating the need for paper files. This also makes reproduction of these images for insurance purposes, referrals or educational purposes easier and less expensive. In addition, digital X-rays reduce radiation exposure by up to 80 percent!

 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Recently, we've had a few of our patients ask us whether dental x-rays are safe - especially since the release of a study by the American Cancer Society's journal Cancer, that suggests a link between dental x-rays and meningioma, a type of brain tumor.  There was also an episode of Dr. Oz that aired that suggested a link between dental x-rays and thyroid cancer. At Wood Dental, your peace of mind is just as important to us as your teeth are, so we thought we would address the issue.

As a recent New York Times article noted, thyroid cancer is relatively rare - out of the people who have been diagnosed with cancer, it accounts for around 3 percent of the cases in women, 1 percent in men, and 1.4 percent in children (and of those who do develop thyroid cancer, 97 percent survive). Since hundreds of millions of people all over the world get dental x-rays every year, one woudl expect those numbers to be higher if the link between dental x-rays and thyroid cancer were so significant.

The article also goes on to note that the study cited on Dr. Oz to support this supposed link used questionabble methods to gather information (relying on study subjects' recollection of how many dental x-rays they'd undergone in their lifetime to calculate how much radiation they had been exposed to, for example), which makes their conclusions unconvincing at best.

More important than any of this other information, however, is the simple fact that dental radiographs do not expose you to high levels of radiation. Traditional dental x-rays already produce much lower radiation levels than other medical x-rays do - mammograms produce around five times more, for example - and it should be noted that these studies were based on conventional film-based x-rays not the newest technology digital radiology. At Wood Dental, we recognized the benefits of the reduced radiation exposure for our patients early in the development of this technology, and were one of the first practices in Western New York to employ digital x-rays, incorporating them into our treatment theaters in 2001. The benefit of this technology is that our surveys emit as much as 80 percent less radiation as regular dental x-rays.

The fact is, all of us are exposed to mild levels of radiation (referred to as "natural background radiation") every day, just by performing our usual daily activities. Radiation exposure is measured in millisieverts (mSv). It's estimated that in a given year, we are exposed to 2.5 mSv of natural background radiation, which works out to about 0.007 mSv per day. Dental x-rays expose you to less than 0.001 mSv - which essentially means you expose yourself to more than seven times as much radiation just by going to work, driving in your car, and grocery shopping on any given day. Don't be frightened by these numbers, though; the point is that they are so low that they don't really affect you.

Experts - including thyroid cancer specialists - agree that even traditional dental x-rays don't emit enough radiation to cause any kind of cancer, and since digital x-rays emit far less than that, they're about as safe as you can get! At Wood Dental, we also provide our patients with lead aprons and thyroid collars, ensuring maximal protection from the miniscule amout of radiation you are exposed to.

We pride ourselves in providing the best possible care for our dental patients at Wood Dental, and that includes safety. Dental x-rays are incredibly important: they allow us to view and understand your teeth, jaws, and facial bone composition. We're blessed to be able to utilize this technology in a manner that doesn't put your health at risk.

We hope this information and put you at ease about dental x-rays - and that it will make your next trip to our office far less scary!

 

 

Better Understanding, Better Decisions, Better Care.
Digital radiography has revolutionized the dental field, providing fast and easy evaluation of even the most complex dental conditions. The instant results of clear, digital images on a computer screen allow us to better educate our patients of our findings and possible treatment options. Together, we can develop a true partnership with one common goal – keeping your smile beautiful and your teeth, gums and jaw joints healthy!