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Drs. Smith and Domingue
200 Beaullieu Drive Bldg. 2 Lafayette, LA 70508

Frequently Asked Questions: Digital Imaging for Diagnosis and Treatment

How can we help you?

At our Acadiana dental office, we believe strongly in educating and empowering our patients to take charge of their own dental care. We encourage and welcome all your questions about our practice, dental procedures, and your treatment.

Please take a moment to browse through this selection of questions we are often asked. If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online!

Digital Imaging for Diagnosis and Treatment

Intraoral imaging is a series of pictures we take inside your mouth. In order to accomplish this, we use a special camera that is tiny but has a high resolution so that we can see even the very far back areas in your mouth.

Digital Imaging

Drs. Smith and Domingue use the latest in digital imaging to assist with diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of dental conditions. Intraoral imaging is useful because no matter how we try, it is difficult to get an accurate view of your back teeth, especially if you have a small mouth or if you still have your wisdom teeth.

Intraoral Imaging in Lafayette

Intraoral imaging can also take pictures of the backs of your teeth, allowing us to see areas we have a difficult time getting to. Intraoral imaging can help us diagnose conditions like broken fillings, cracked teeth, recession, periodontal disease, abnormal wear and recession, abfractions, and decay.

We place the camera inside your mouth and we can see all of your teeth close up. If we see something that looks suspicious, we can snap a photo and it will save in your computer chart for one of our doctors to review. If they diagnose a problem or see something that requires your attention, they will let you know right away.


Not so long ago, the only imaging most dentists used were the old fashioned films that needed to be developed by hand in a dark room at the dental office. The images were often grainy and useless. Unfortunately, by the time the films finally were developed, it was often too late and the patient was already out the door.

So many more options exist for dentists today. From digital dental x-rays to 3D imaging, we have an entire world of x-rays and photography at our disposal.

Digital x-rays are still the standard for diagnosis in dentistry. From bitewings to a full smile panoramic x-ray, we still use these to diagnose things like decay and cracked teeth.

Dental Technology in Lafayette 

In addition to the traditional x-rays, we use various styles of digital cameras to photograph your smile from different angles. This can help with the evaluation of your bite and for cosmetic evaluations. Our tiny intraoral camera can even zoom in on individual teeth so we can see if they contain cracks or have any type of damage.

The latest dental technology utilizes 3D scanning in order to more accurately place your dental implants, improving their success rates. We also use the 3D scanner for bone grafting and endodontic treatment.


Dental imaging has always been one of the lowest radiation emitting styles of x-rays in the medical world. Additionally, not all of the imaging we do is x-ray based. We also use photography for diagnosis and photography does not have a radiation risk.

Benefits of Digital X-Rays in Lafayette 

When dentistry began the big switch over from traditional to digital dental x-rays, one of the greatest benefits was the lower radiation. The images also provided unprecedented clarity and sharpness. With digital imaging, our dentists can manipulate your dental x-rays, increasing the contrast and changing colors in order to make certain dental conditions easier to diagnose.

In many cases, you receive a bigger dose of radiation from space by walking outside than you do from regular digital dental x-rays. When we set the machines to take pictures, we use the lowest radiation setting possible in order to still create an accurate image.

We also only take the x-rays needed for diagnosis. Typically, that means once a year unless you experience a problem.

While it seems like we take a lot more pictures than in the old days, know that our methods of diagnosis are paying off. People are keeping their teeth longer than ever, as dentistry has become a profession of prevention.

The Prexion 3D scanner is the latest technology dentists use for treatment and diagnosis today. Our 3D scanner is very similar to a CAT scan, but focuses on your dental areas only. It uses CBCT (cone beam computed tomography technology), which reconstructs data into a 3D image.


CBCT technology is especially useful in the placement of dental implants and for endodontic treatment. It provides a more accurate image that our dentists use to determine the most beneficial placement of dental implants or for treatments such as necessary bone grafting. This type of imaging creates a clearer big picture of the health of your teeth and bone.

Because the Prexion 3D scanner uses the latest in digital technology, radiation is lower than that of conventional dental x-rays and medical x-rays. The Prexion 3D scanner can answer questions a traditional x-ray cannot about things such as bone density and very precise measurements.

While we only use the imaging technology that is absolutely essential for successful treatment of dental conditions, the Prexion 3D scanner does allow us to more effectively diagnose and treat dental conditions.

Contact Our Lafayette LA Dental Clinic

If you have questions about dental imaging or radiation, do not hesitate to call. We understand your concerns and want you to feel confident 

3D digital imaging allows us to get a clear and complete picture of your mouth so that we can diagnose dental conditions and plan for implant placement. The images require no time to develop, which allows for faster diagnostics and treatment, and are easily understandable for improved patient education about conditions and recommended therapies.

3D Imaging in Lafayette

With 3D digital imaging, we can monitor your bone levels over time to identify any changes we see in the levels or density of your bone. When tooth loss occurs, bone levels tend to decline. We can recommend therapies and procedures to help maintain bone levels such as bone grafting and implant placement. By addressing bone loss early, we can limit the damage done to other teeth over time.

What We Can Identify Using 3D Imaging

Using 3D digital imaging, we can also identify any impacted teeth or abnormal structures within your bone, making planning for surgery and other procedures easier and less problematic. Having 3D imaging prior to surgery is like having a clear and concise road map. This information allows us to make the best decisions regarding your health and to perform the procedures in the most successful and least invasive way possible.

With the low radiation levels in digital imaging, the benefits far out weigh the risks.

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