Digital x-rays are a fast, accurate and comfortable diagnostic tool we use to determine your dental needs. Today many are concerned about radiation. Okanagan Smiles Dentistry is pleased to provide digital x-rays greatly minimizing your radiation exposure. Using the newest and best products we could find, we know you will be happy to be able to see what we see on our 24” HD screens.
We take individual photographs of each tooth at each new patient exam or every 5 years for existing patients so that we can communicate better with you and also get quicker results with your insurance company.
The result is that we can detect decay long before we used to - while the cavity is still small. If the decay is still only in enamel, we use treatments like MI Paste to stop the progression of the decay. Once the decay reaches dentin however, we do plan fillings to ensure the decay doesn't continue to the nerve of the tooth - the only predictable and definitive treatment.
People often see the difference between their old radiographs and their new ones at our office and are amazed at the clarity. Here are examples of the difference in clarity, and the difference in size between old digital x-rays and we now use for you.
A typical full mouth series of x-rays that we take on new patients exposes them to .15 mSv of ionizing radiation. For returning patients that have annual checkups, the bitewing radiographs emit around .038 mSv. Some of that is absorbed into the body, some is reflected off of the body, the lead apron and the skin.
To put this in perspective, you receive 3 mSv of ionizing radiation from the sun and the rocks and minerals in the earth. An additional .5 mSv per year comes from outer space in cosmic radiation and in total is around 6.2. This means you get as much radiation per year at the dentist as you would in 3 days from background radiation.
The radiation exposure is approximately equivalent to one flight from LA to NYC, or an afternoon on the beach.
Risks should be avoided if at all possible, but also balanced with the risk of negligence. We routinely find metastasized cancer, early cancer warning signs, abcesses leading to heart attacks and other things that if left unattended may not present with pain, but would have drastic effects on your immediate overall health.