Dr. Steve Walton offers digital x-rays at his Columbus office. Digital x-rays are the most advanced form of dental x-rays, utilizing the latest technology. The cameras use electronic sensors instead of film, meaning the photos do not need to be developed. This means harmful chemicals and waste are kept from interfering with the environment. With such instant availability, these photographs can be viewed and enlarged for analysis of existing problems and diagnosis of new problems. It is also a safe method of care. In comparison with traditional x-ray methods, radiation is reduced digitally by 80-90 percent. Dr. Walton’s office provides apron shields for full and complete protection.
Digital x-rays have the ability to reveal a range of concerns:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and noncancerous tumors
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
The frequency of digital x-rays is unique to the individual patient, though it is usually based on a combination of dental history, new symptoms and age. We typically perform a full series of digital x-rays for new patients and then repeat that every three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (side views of the teeth meeting as the mouth closes) are conducted once every year and a half or two years to detect any developing problems. Digital x-rays save our patients money, time, pain and even teeth. They boast high levels of health and safety, not to mention ultimate comfortability and speed!
Dr. Steve Walton also has the capability for panoramic x-rays. These x-rays serve as a wraparound image of a patient’s face and teeth. The mechanism taking photos rotates around the head, from ear to ear. The goal of panoramic x-rays is to expose what the dental staff cannot see with a basic check-up. Examples of these “behind the scenes tours” include looking for developing wisdom teeth, fractures, bone loss and discomfort caused by the sinus and nasal systems. Panoramic x-rays do not aim for a detailed view of each individual tooth, but rather for a big picture view. Functions include:
- Assess patients with an extreme gag reflex
- Evaluate the progression of TMJ
- Discovery of cysts and abnormalities
- Expose impacted teeth
- Plan the feasibility of full or partial dentures, braces and implants
- Reveal gum disease and cavities
Panoramic x-rays are taken every five years usually in place of a complete series of x-rays. The value of these x-rays lie in the planning of future treatment and discovering unforeseen problems.