Digital And Dental X-Rays

McNutt Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentists located in Nashville, TN

Many oral health problems aren’t visible to the naked eye. Digital X-rays provide a safe and effective way to find and treat these issues early on before they cause more serious side-effects. At McNutt Pediatric Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee, Timothy McNutt Sr., DDS, and the team provide digital X-rays on-site. To schedule an appointment for your child, book online or call the office today.

Digital X-Rays Q & A

What are digital X-rays?

Digital X-rays are a type of preventive screening. They use low doses of radiation and X-ray sensitive plates to capture detailed images of your child’s tooth roots, jaw, and facial bone composition. These images help to diagnose and treat serious oral health problems early in their development.

What types of problems can digital X-rays detect?

At McNutt Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. McNutt and the team use digital X-rays to detect various oral health problems, including:

  • Oral tumors
  • Congenial complications
  • Bone damage
  • Oral cysts
  • Tooth decay
  • Trauma
  • Bone loss caused by gum disease

Digital X-rays also help guide orthodontic treatment. They can pinpoint the location and position of your child’s unerupted teeth, lowering their risk of impaction. 

What happens during an appointment for digital X-rays?

Digital X-rays are quick and pain-free. Before taking X-rays, Dr. McNutt or a member of the team has your child wear a heavy apron and put special bite guards in their mouth. Each bite guard contains a tiny electronic sensor that captures the X-ray image. 

After positioning the sensors, Dr. McNutt points the X-ray machine at your child’s mouth and takes a series of images. He repositions the machine and takes images of the other side of your child’s mouth. Typically, the entire process takes 10-15 minutes.

What happens after my child gets their digital X-rays?

After taking your child’s digital X-rays, Dr. McNutt observes them using a special software program. Digital X-rays are unique in that they’re viewable right away and require no development period.

Dr. McNutt reviews your child’s X-rays looking for signs of tooth decay, bone recession, or gum disease. If he notices anything out of the ordinary, he lets you know and explains the treatment process.

Are digital X-rays safe?

At McNutt Pediatric Dentistry, the team uses X-ray tools and techniques designed to limit your child’s exposure to radiation. They also take steps to protect your child’s mouth by using a narrow X-ray beam and a leaded apron and thyroid shield.

Dr. McNutt has years of training with digital X-rays. He takes great care to ensure your child’s safety throughout the procedure by taking a conservative approach. 

If it’s been more than a year since your child last had digital X-rays, schedule an appointment at McNutt Pediatric Dentistry. Book online or call the office today.

Dental X-Rays Q & A

Why are Dental X-rays needed? 

Many diseases of the oral cavity (which includes the teeth and surrounding tissues and bone) cannot be seen when a dentist visually examines the mouth. An x-ray exam may help us see: 

  • Small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing fillings
  • Bone damage from a tooth infection (such as an abcess) or a cyst 
  • Bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease 
  • Developmental defects 
  • Some types of tumors
  • The effects of trauma 
  • The position of un-erupted teeth 
  • Missing or extra teeth 

Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money, and unneeded discomfort. It may also prevent more serious health problems. 

How are Digital X-Rays made? 

Digital imaging uses an x-ray machine like that used for traditional dental x-rays made with film. But instead of using film in a plastic holder, digital images are made using a small electronic sensor that is placed in the mouth to capture the x-ray image. 

Why do we take Digital X-Ray images?

There are many benefits to using digital dental x-ray images.

  • When the digital x-ray image is exposed, it can be sent directly to a computer and viewed right away. For an x-ray film to be exposed, it must be processed in special chemicals which takes a few minutes. 
  • Digital x-rays can be enlarged on the computer screen making it easier to see the pictures 
  • Digital x-rays can often be corrected without having to make another x-ray exposure 
  • The office can print or copy your digital x-ray images. They can also be sent electronically. 
  • Digital x-rays are environmentally friendly. They eliminate the need for film and film processing chemicals. 
  • Digital x-ray images may require less radiation. 

Are Dental X-Rays safe? 

Dental x-rays require very low levels of radiation exposure, making the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. A set of bitewing x-ray images creates only a small fraction of the radiation a person would be exposed to when flying on an airplane. 

We use dental x-ray tools and techniques that are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation. We also take steps to limit the area exposed like limiting the size of the x-ray beam and using a leaded apron and thyroid shield so x-rays cannot pass through. Dr. McNutt practices with a very conservative approach to dental x-rays.