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The world of dentistry has advanced immensely over the last 100 years, creating opportunities for dentists – like ourselves – to give our patients – like you! – the advantages of modern medicine and great dental care. Whether it’s the tools we use every day, different kinds of cleaning products, oral sedation, cosmetic dentistry or dental restorations, there is a vast difference in what are today’s safety standards in comparison to the experimental approaches once taken.

We have to give credit to some of these methods considering many of them led to where we are today. One advancement that has proven very efficient are dental X-rays. First discovered in the late 1800s, X-rays were a completely innovative way of viewing human bones through the use of electromagnetic radiation. It was quickly adopted and evolved over time, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they were regularly used in dental offices. Today, they are regularly used at your bi-annual visit to the dentist for a full dental exam and cleaning.

A useful tool for any dentist, an X-ray allows us to detect diseases or damaged teeth that wouldn’t typically be visible. Unlike the early 1900s equipment (which could sometimes damage skin and hair), today’s X-rays are safer, offering a limited amount of exposure to radiation, although we still use safety equipment for your protection. If you have any concerns, we are happy to address them for you.

Here at Gentle Dental Arts, we use state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve your best smile. That’s why we use digital X-rays to capture high-quality images in a quick and efficient manner. This new approach to imaging allows you to feel more comfortable and get you back to your regular day more quickly. Much less radiation is used compared to typical X-rays, and digital images don’t use chemicals to develop film. We’ll be sure to place a “bib” over you to protect you from any unnecessary exposure.

To make sure we get the images of every tooth, we take shots of the inside (intraoral) of your mouth. If needed, we can even take outside (extraoral) images. We’ll take into consideration your age, dental history, oral health and any symptoms you may be experiencing when assessing which images to take.

With digital X-rays, we are able to search and view many dental problems such as cavities and signs of decay. We can efficiently monitor the progress of your teeth and bone health, especially when it comes to the development of your children’s teeth. Some more serious issues we can detect with digital imaging include abnormalities that progress over development, sore or potentially painful cysts or abscesses, tumors, infections in the roots or nerves, or harmful positioning of the tooth (it can be twisted or compromising the position of abutting teeth as well).

Not only is digital imaging useful for discovering problems but it is great for solving them. They can potentially be used for root canal treatment, oral surgery procedures, dental implants, gum disease treatment or other restoration procedures.

If you or your child are nervous about visiting our office or using our digital X-ray equipment, we have some tips to help ease those fears:

– Speak to our team about your concerns. We can discuss the best approach and keep this in mind during treatment. We can even explain every detail beforehand or as we proceed.

– Deep and even breaths during treatment have proved to be very helpful.

– Bring music to your liking that helps you feel relaxed.

– With your child, you can sit with them to help them feel calm or even receive your own treatment beforehand while they watch. Many children’s books on dentistry are available, and you can even play dentist and patient at home using a popsicle stick and mirror to practice with them as if they were getting a dental X-ray.

– We offer oral sedation to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your dental treatment.

Feel free to give us a call at 801-788-4922 if you have questions or need more tips on how to feel calm in our office. We’ll be happy to help you feel comfortable and give the tools you need to feel relaxed during your time with us.

You can expect to have a digital X-ray taken at random intervals depending on previous treatments and images. Children typically receive more frequent X-rays due to their developing bones and teeth, as well as the likelihood that they’re consuming more sugar. Also, since they don’t always have consistent daily brushing and flossing habits, we encourage you to help them with their hygiene practice. If you are pregnant, be sure to let our team know so we can cater to your needs. We always use protective gear, even though digital X-rays are considered one of the safest approaches. Because you are at higher risk for dental problems while pregnant, we encourage you to attend your bi-annual visits.

With digital X-rays, you don’t have to do anything in advance to prepare for them. But what you want to do is prevent us from finding problems with your smile, so be sure to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Mouthwash is a great addition to your dental regimen as well as a dental emergency kit (these can include tweezers, cotton rolls and pellets, gel packets, a disposable dental mirror, dental floss, sterile gauze pads, etc.) that you keep on hand, especially while traveling.

So forgo traditional photographic X-ray machines for our advanced and innovative digital X-rays to get the best images of your smile. To schedule an appointment or consultation, give Gentle Dental Arts a call at 801-788-4922. Our team here in the Utah County area will be happy to serve those living here in Orem, Provo, American Fork, Lindon, Pleasant Grove and surrounding areas. We are happy to help anyone in need of a professional dental exam and cleaning or dental emergency, so give us a call today!