Perfecting Smiles in Southern Oregon

Contact Info

Bruce P. Mitchell, D.M.D.
Family Dentistry
3560 National Drive, Ste 102
Medford, Or 97504

(541) 773-3959
Fax: (541) 773-1186

Our Location

Testimonials

Best dentist in town and best dental experience ever! Quick, friendly, efficient, and a cozy, comfortable office. All of the staff was friendly and great.

Sara P.

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Digital X-rays

Dental radiographs, commonly referred to as X-rays, are pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissues to screen for and help identify problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, cancerous or benign masses, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments. It is possible for both tooth decay and periodontal disease to be missed during a clinical exam, and radiographic evaluation of the dental and periodontal tissues is a critical segment of the comprehensive oral examination.

The dosage of X-ray radiation received by a dental patient is typically small, equivalent to a few days’ worth of background radiation environmental radiation exposure, or similar to the dose received during a cross-country airplane flight. Incidental exposure is further reduced by the use of a lead shield, lead apron, sometimes with a lead thyroid collar.

Once photographic film has been exposed to X-ray radiation, it needs to be developed, traditionally using a process where the film is exposed to a series of chemicals in a dark room, as the films are sensitive to normal light. This can be a time-consuming process, and incorrect exposures or mistakes in the development process can necessitate retakes, exposing the patient to additional radiation. Digital x-rays, which replace the film with an electronic sensor are becoming widely used in dentistry as the technology evolves. They require far less radiation and save time as they are processed much quicker than conventional radiographic films, often instantly viewable on a computer. They also are more environmentally friendly as processing chemicals and lead foil are no longer necessary. Yet another advantage of digital x-rays is the speed and ease of sharing among colleagues and specialists, in order to better and more efficiently diagnose dental problems.