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!
Drs. Smith and Domingue use digital dental x-rays to diagnose and accurately be able to treat many dental conditions you may have. Typically, unless you encounter a problem, you will probably only have one set of x-rays each year.
Top-Notch Dental X-Rays
The number of x-rays may vary depending on your age, the amount of dentistry you have, and how long it has been since you have had necessary x-rays. In other words, Drs. Smith and Domingue will only take the number of x-rays necessary to see your teeth above and below the gum line accurately. Usually, the number of x-rays is between eight and eighteen for adults.
With the introduction of digital x-rays, the amount of radiation necessary was reduced dramatically. An added benefit of digital dental x-rays is the ability to immediately see the image on-screen. Drs. Smith and Domingue can use their x-ray software to zoom in or change contrast in order to effectively and accurately diagnose conditions early. It is hard to believe how far dental imaging has come in the last twenty years.
Dental x-rays are among the lowest radiation x-rays of all diagnostic imaging in medical procedures. In fact, the radiation is so minimal, if you live in certain parts of the country, you get more radiation from the sun than you do from a full mouth x-ray.
Dental Exams in Lafayette
When you weigh the risks versus the benefits, it is easy to see how valuable dental x-rays are for your health. If you have any other concerns about x-rays or digital imaging, please feel free to ask us.
Typically, we take diagnostic x-rays once yearly. We will take more if an issue arises that needs a diagnosis, but the ADA recommends a certain number of x-rays in order to help patients prevent decay and other dental conditions. While it may seem like a lot of x-rays, we do so with prevention in mind.
People keep their teeth longer than ever these days. That means that our prevention methods are working. Helping you keep your natural teeth is our dental office’s ideal goal. Nothing will work as well or integrate as well as your natural smile.
Importance of Dental X-Rays in Lafayette
Dental x-rays allow us to see a number of features of your tooth’s anatomy, we cannot see with a visual inspection. For example, we cannot see any trouble between your teeth or below the gum line. X-rays give us an extra set of eyes when it comes to looking out for your dental health.
If you have decay below the gum line or if you have bone loss, those conditions may show up on a dental x-ray. While x-rays are not a perfect form of diagnosis, when combined with our regular dental exam, photographs, and 3D technology, we are giving you the best shot at great oral health.
Dental x-rays are not perfect detection tools. They are just that—tools. That means that occasionally you could have a condition that does not readily show itself in our digital imaging.
Limitations of Dental X-Rays
A few explanations may be accurate. First, your cavity may be so small it did not show up on your dental x-rays. A very small cavity has not yet caused enough damage to be visible through x-ray technology.
Secondly, your cavity could be hiding behind an existing filling. When you get decay near an existing filling, we call this secondary decay. Fillings are opaque and may actually block out part of your tooth from being x-rayed, rendering it invisible.
Thirdly, your teeth could overlap. If you have very close teeth, taking an x-ray without overlap may be impossible. Additionally, when you have very close teeth, getting decay between them is more likely.
Another reason decay may not show up on your x-ray is that it could have started after your last set of x-rays. Your teeth are susceptible to decay all of the time, especially if you eat sugary or high acid foods. It is quite possible your decay did not develop until after your last dental exam and last set of x-rays.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
Do you want to learn more about the dental x-ray technology we use at Drs. Smith and Domingue? Please contact our Lafayette LA dental clinic.
While it may seem like we take a lot of x-rays, we only take the necessary number to accurately diagnose and dental conditions you may be experiencing. Bitewings are useful for diagnosing decay. They show your tooth and its density. Drs. Smith and Domingue’s trained eyes scan over every one of your digital x-rays looking for any small sign of decay that may require treatment.
Vertical bitewings, or periapical x-rays allow us to see the root of your tooth. This is especially important when we look for infection or bone loss. Bone loss is something that can cause serious problems and knowing about it right away allows us to determine the source and take action.
Infection often lurks at the root of your tooth. In some cases, a root canal may be required to heal the infection. Root canals do not always trigger pain right away, but prompt treatment is necessary in order to save your tooth.
Advanced Diagnostic Tools in Lafayette
Advanced x-rays such as panoramic x-rays and 3D scans are less common and done only when necessary. Typically, panoramic x-rays are every three years or more often if your child is getting his or her wisdom teeth and we are watching them in order to recommend extraction.
Drs. Smith and Domingue are completely committed to your dental health. Good dental health begins with solid prevention techniques including diagnosis and early treatment. At our Lafayette, LA office, we utilize the latest diagnostic technology to assist in patient treatment.
Typically, we will take x-rays once a year unless you encounter a problem and then we may require additional images to diagnose and treat your condition.
Important Diagnostic Tool
Dental x-rays are one of our most useful diagnostic tools. They allow us to see into places we otherwise could not, such as beneath your gums, between your teeth, and under your enamel. With x-rays (and other digital imaging equipment), we can find problems quickly while they are still small and monitor your treatment progress.
Digital x-rays also assist us when we develop and place appliances, including dental implants. The proper placement of implants is essential to the function and long-term success of your dental appliances and restorations.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
Our office relies on digital x-rays, which use up to 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays, because your safety and your health are both important to us. Digital x-rays are extremely safe and convenient. No more waiting around for them to be developed like back in the old days. We can see results instantly and treat you accordingly. Give us a call if you are overdue for your next professional cleaning and exam.