Dental imaging and dentistry go hand in hand. One cannot imagine dental procedures without dental imaging. It is done before performing any dental procedure because it enables the dentist to diagnose dental issues which are not visible during a regular dental exam. Dental imaging helps the dentist in finding hidden oral structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities.

What are the different dental imaging techniques?

1. Traditional X-rays

Traditional X-rays are the oldest form of dental imaging and are used to film-based and are used to detect the pathology of the skeletal system. Dental images are produced by directing an X-ray at the patient with a specialized device and a photographic film is used to capture the images. These images are then analyzed by doctors. X-rays can be used to  determine the:

  • Development of abscesses or cysts in the gum and bone tissues.
  • Presence of decay, cavities, chips, fractures, and caries between teeth.
  • Growth of tumors in the oral cavity.
  • Poor positioning of a tooth and its roots.
  • Presence of impacted teeth.
  • Malocclusion or misalignment of the bite.
  • Assess the status of developing baby and permanent teeth in children.
  • Formation of periodontal pockets.
  • Bone density around teeth.
  • Presence of periodontal diseases.
  • Help maintain good oral health and through early detection.

2. Digital X-rays

Unlike traditional X-rays, digital X-rays use electronic sensors for dental imaging. They have revolutionized the way dental images were produced in the past. Digital X-rays have various advantages over traditional X-rays, like:

  • Digital X-rays reduce radiation levels by 70%.
  • No photographic film is required and the images are directly obtained on acomputer screen.
  • The produced images can be easily enhanced on the computer. Your dentist controls the exposure and can make the images lighter or darker, enlarge the images, and improve their color and texture. This enables your dentist to detect dental issues easily and faster.
  • Digital X-rays provide a better diagnosis as the dental images are of better quality. They can even identify tiny fractures and cracks that often stay undetected by the traditional film.
  • Time-saving. Digital X-rays can produce dental images within seconds because the need for manual processing is eliminated.
  • Digital X-ray technology is made available at a lower price as compared to the conventional system.

3. Panoramic X-rays

Panoramic X-rays are used to develop a wraparound image of the entire facial structure. Dental images produced with panoramic X-rays are extremely detailed and provide a view of the nasal area, upper and lower jaws, mandibular nerve, and the sinus areas in a single image. With their many benefits, panoramic X-rays have become an indispensable part of a comprehensive dental examination. They are used for:

  • Detecting sinusitis.
  • Examining patients who are suffering from gag reflex.
  • Detecting signs of oral cancer at an early stage.
  • Evaluating the advancement of jaw disorders like TMJ syndrome.
  • Detecting abnormal growths in the mouth, head, and, neck.
  • Determining the presence of impacted wisdom teeth and canines.
  • Identifying the symptoms of periodontal disease like gum and bone recession.
  • Ensuring the correct development of permanent teeth in children.
  • Designing a treatment plan for dentures, braces, implants, and tooth extraction.
  • Designing a custom treatment plan for cosmetic enhancements.

4. Cone Beam CT

Cone Beam CT uses radiation for dental imaging and creates 2 D images. An X-ray machine, placed on a rotating arm, produces a cone-shaped beam. Then, a scanner is moved around the head to produce numerous high-quality and detailed images. This data that is gathered from various views and angles is then integrated to obtain a single image. The final image provides comprehensive information about the facial skeleton, dental structures, relationship between bones, nasal cavity, tissues, airways, and nerve paths. Cone Beam is used for:

  • Evaluation of teeth for endodontic treatments.
  • Analysis of wisdom and canine teeth impaction.
  • Diagnosis of TMD and TMJ syndrome.
  • Assessing bone density before placing dental implants.
  • Detecting abnormal growths like jaw tumors and odontogenic lesions.
  • Cephalometric analysis.
  • Integration with CAD/CAM devices for producing CEREC crowns.

We at Inspire Smiles Dental employ the most advanced technology to treat dental ailments with great care and precision. Our entire team is immensely dedicated to looking after our patients’ needs with exceptional compassion and caution. Whether you are looking for dental restorations or cosmetic enhancements, Inspire Smiles Dental is a one-stop for all your dental issues and ailments. Book an appointment with us at (925) 833-9500 or visit our office in 7739 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568.