Digital x-rays, also known as digital radiographs, are performed as part of an annual dental examination or an emergency visit to allow a better view of your mouth in areas that eyes cannot see. Digital x-rays, including panoramic imaging technology, allow Dr. Heher to diagnose conditions that are not easily visible and to learn about the health of the inside of your mouth including the teeth, gums, and jaw. There are many dental conditions that may only be seen on x-rays such as cavities, decay, cysts, abscesses, bone atrophy, and impactions. When these conditions are identified early, they may provide more treatment options that are less invasive than they might be later on. During your annual exam at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher in Salisbury, MD, digital imaging will help Dr. Heher diagnose and treat oral health problems.
"The staff is super friendly and so is Dr. Heher. My family has been using him for years and I can't imagine going anywhere else"- B.M. / Facebook / Oct 01, 2019
"Like a lot of people, I dread going to the dentist. I was scheduled as a first time patient very quickly. Dr. Heher sat with me before and after my exam and comprehensively went over my care plan. He listened to my previous dental horror stories and was very reassuring and kind. I feel at ease going back."- M.B. / Google / Sep 27, 2019
"Dr. Heher went in-depth with me at my first exam. Him and all staff made my day as they were kind and professional. Being to three different dentist in the area, I truly feel Dr. Heher was thorough, easy to talk to and ask questions and gentle. His staff and himself definitely make you their priority."- A.B. / Google / Jan 04, 2019
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"Hygienist Barb always fantastic, putting patient at ease with her humor & professionalism. Dr. Heher offers many words of support, encouragement.He was first to identify, diagnose a problem I was having.Office Ladies pleasant & helpful."- J.D. / Google / Aug 23, 2019
At our practice, digital imaging is usually part of an annual dental exam. Radiographs can be recommended for prevention or if you are experiencing a specific problem. Though digital x-rays use far less radiation than traditional film x-rays, Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher tries to further minimize each patient's exposure by using proper radiation hygiene such as lead aprons and targeting devices for the x-ray beam. While all radiation has concerns, dental x-rays will provide less radiation than a few days’ vacation in the mountains, and we take no more than necessary to minimize radiation exposure. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should inform Dr. Heher at the beginning of the dental exam so extra-special precautions, such as double lead aprons can be provided.
What to Expect
Generally performed at the beginning of your appointment, digital x-rays take about 5 – 10 minutes to complete and are instantly readable. If necessary, Dr. Heher may take a panoramic x-ray for a complete view of the upper and lower jaw. After the x-rays are taken, they are uploaded to a chair-side computer screen and can be viewed by you and Dr. Heher during your exam. He can assess your dental health and if conditions need attention discuss possible treatment options.
A series of x-rays will usually be performed annually at your dental exam; for those with high decay rates, they may be taken more frequently; for those with really low decay rates, even less frequently than yearly. For some visits, depending upon conditions, a whole mouth series may be needed to get a complete view of the teeth, gums, and oral bones; if needed, you will be informed beforehand. Your x-rays will be archived with other information at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher so Dr. Heher can identify changes over time and chart any growing concerns.
Generally, dental insurance plans will pay for digital x-ray costs as part of an annual dental exam. However, we have noticed of late, that some insurance carriers are reducing benefits as a cost-cutting procedure; at this point, the incidence of this is not that common “yet”, but we cannot allow insurance coverage policies to determine and compromise adequate diagnostic procedures. Our office will contact your insurance to assist you in calculating out-of-pocket expenses. Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher accepts many payment methods and we can assist you with medical financing.
Digital imaging is a useful technology that can help diagnose and treat dental conditions. As a part of a regular dental exam, they provide Dr. Heher with an in-depth view and allow him to identify hidden problems to be treated before becoming painful. For improved dental health, contact our office in Salisbury, MD to schedule your next dental exam with digital imaging.