New advancements are continually being made in order to better serve the patient’s needs. These advancements allow us to make more accurate diagnoses and in turn helps us to develop more comprehensive treatment plans for our patients in a non-invasive matter. It also improves the predictability of the treatment procedures themselves.
Digital radiography utilizes electronic sensors which allow images taken to be viewed and enlarged instantly on a computer. This allows your dental provider to detect problems more easily. The radiation is reduced by 80-90% compared to traditional x-ray films.
Dental x-rays provide valuable information in order to diagnose and monitor the health of the teeth and surrounding tissues. This information is not visible during a regular dental exam. They often reveal the following information:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
Digital x-rays are better for the safety and health of patients as a result of needing less radiation compared to traditional x-ray films. They also eliminate the need to develop the x-rays thus eliminating the disposal of harmful chemicals into the environment. X-rays are considered very safe and are taken with necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure. This means that a lead apron is utilized and taking x-rays when necessary.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dental provider will recommend x-rays as necessary based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
Digital photographs are pictures taken with a digital camera or intra-oral camera. The images can be uploaded into a computer screen so that your dentist can better communicate your dental needs using visual tools.
Digital images are often used to show:
- Areas of decay or fractures
- The bite
- Full mouth overviews
- Before and after
At Sidney Harbour Dental Centre your safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why we follow the guidelines of infection control as set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are three classifications of instruments for different sterilization protocols.
- Critical: instruments that penetrate soft tissue/bone or contact the bloodstream. These instruments are sterilized after each use either by use of steam under pressure, dry heat, chemical vapor or cold soak (for items that cannot withstand high temperatures).
- Semi-Critical: instruments in contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin. These items again should be sterilized, or if this is not feasible, go through high-level disinfection.
- Non-Critical: Items that come in contact with intact-skin. An intermediate-level disinfectant should be used.
Instruments are first run through a precleaning enzymatic solution in an ultrasonic machine. They are then dried and then wrapped/bagged to be processed through the sterilizer machine.
Items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned or sterilized are discarded and a new one used for each patient.
Our sterilizers are checked weekly by biological monitors to ensure successful cycles are being performed. The wraps and sterilization bags are equipped with chemical indicators that sterilization was completed.
So happy with the level of service we received yesterday. Everyone was super nice and communicated clearly with what was being done and what needed to be done. They were also flexible, working with what appointment days and times best suited our hectic schedule. We are so grateful!
- Carrie Wheeler