Digital x-rays or radiographs are performed as part of a dental exam to provide a more thorough picture of your mouth. Digital x-rays make it easier for dentist Dr. Kareem Abraham to diagnose issues that may not be easily visible and provide more information about your oral health by showing the interior of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. There are many dental concerns that may be diagnosed with x-rays, including cavities, decay, abscesses, cysts, bone loss, and tooth impaction. If these issues are identified in the early stages, you may have more treatment options that are less invasive. As part of your dental exam at LifeTime Smiles of OC in Santa Ana, CA, digital imaging will help Dr. Abraham diagnose and correct dental problems.
Types of X-Rays
- Periapical x-rays: Single radiograph that is taken when treating a specific area
- Bitewing x-rays: Taken to view any interproximal caries on posterior teeth
- Occlusal x-rays: Taken on fully edentulous patients to analyze their remaining bone structure
- Panorex (Panellipse): Taken to see the entire upper and lower arches of the teeth, any impacted wisdom teeth, and TMJ distortions
- Cephalometric x-rays: Typically taken by orthodontists to view the development of the jaw structures in young patients
- Panoramic radiography: Consists of a two-dimensional or a 2-D dental x-ray examination that captures the entire mouth in a single image, including the teeth, upper and lower jaws, surrounding structures, and tissues
- Dental Cone Beam CT: X-ray equipment that is used in rare cases when regular dental or facial x-rays are unable to accurately assess a potential dental issue
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Typically, digital imaging is included in an annual dental examination. Digital x-rays may be performed for prevention or if you are concerned about a specific problem. Even though digital x-rays emit significantly less radiation compared to traditional film x-rays, LifeTime Smiles of OC tries to limit each patient's exposure. Although digital x-rays are generally safe for all patients, female patients who are breastfeeding or pregnant should inform Dr. Abraham at the start of their dental exam so special cautionary steps may be taken.
What to Expect
Generally performed at the start of your appointment, digital imaging takes around 5 – 10 minutes to do. Many patients will get a set of x-rays to show the needed sections. Once they are done, they will be uploaded to be viewed by you and Dr. Abraham throughout your exam. He can show you any issues and talk about possible treatments.
A set of x-rays will usually be done annually at your dental examination. At certain exams, a full-mouth set may be needed for a complete view of your teeth, gums, and oral bones. Additional single x-rays may be taken pre- and post-operatively to monitor your progress with treatment. Your x-rays will be saved with other information at LifeTime Smiles of OC so Dr. Abraham can identify trends and address any growing concerns.
Generally, dental insurance plans will cover digital x-ray costs as part of an annual dental examination. Our office can talk to your insurance provider to calculate potential payments. If you have any remaining costs or if you are not using insurance, LifeTime Smiles of OC takes several methods of payment and we can assist you with finding financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Digital imaging is a useful tool that can help to diagnose developing health conditions. As a part of an annual dental examination, digital x-rays can give Dr. Abraham an in-depth understanding that allows him to catch hidden problems to be treated before you feel pain. To improve your oral health, contact our team in Santa Ana, CA to make an appointment for your dental examination with digital imaging.