Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography is the most current technique used for dental imaging.  An electronic sensor captures and stores the digital image on a computer.  This image can be instantly viewed and assists  the dentist and dental hygienist to detect problems that may not be visible during a visual dental exam.  Digital radiographs reduce radiation exposure by 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays. 

Dental radiographs may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line. 
  • Digital Radiographic Equipment   

Dr. Sterley's office is equipped with a digital panoramic machine which gives an image of all teeth, upper and lower jaw bones, temperomandibular joints (TMJ), and sinuses. The intraoral sensor captures images of individual teeth.


Are dental radiographs safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment.  Digital radiographs produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental film based radiographs.   

Even though digital radiographs produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation.  These precautions include only taking radiographs when necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How often should dental radiographs be taken?

The need for dental radiographs depends on the dental health needs of each patient.  Dr. Sterley and your dental hygienist will recommend necessary radiographs based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, symptoms and concerns, your age, and risk of disease.