A visual dental exam can only tell us so much about the current state of your teeth and the tissues that support them. Sometimes, we need to look within, and that’s where x-ray imaging comes into play.
X-rays let us look for decay between teeth or under fillings. They let us check for bone loss or infection around the roots of your teeth. They provide a reference for us when we need to provide treatment.
When we take x-rays, we use only digital imaging. Most patients find them easier and more comfortable to have taken than conventional film x-rays. Not only does digital imaging give us better images to work with; it reduces your exposure to radiation by as much as 90%.
3D Cone Beam Imaging
But sometimes, seeing a few teeth and their supporting gum and bone tissue isn’t enough. We need a more comprehensive view. We need to see your teeth, jaws, and head in relationship with each other.
For this, we use 3D cone beam imaging. It captures a full craniofacial image – the full jaw and jaw joints, and all related structures in a single shot.
Radiation exposure is extremely low, and the images are quick and easy for us to take, comfortable for you. And because the image is so complete, because Dr. Shields has the full context of your mouth to evaluate, the quality and specificity of treatment is that much higher. Often, treatment time can be significantly reduced.
3D imaging is especially helpful when we’re placing implants and addressing TMJ issues, sleep-disordered breathing, or other issues in which seeing the “big picture” matters.