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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
      Call: 308-436-3491           

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Radiographs (X-rays) are a valuable aid in evaluation of different diagnosis.
We now have digital x-ray!

What types of X-rays will be used and why do I need them?

      X-rays are only taken when we believe it will directly benefit your dental health.  Dental radiographs are routine to your dental health in order to provide you with the highest standard of care in through diagnosis and treatment planning. 

    We perform x-rays in a safe manner to offer you the greatest protection (X-Ray Safety)  They allow us to discover developing tumors cysts, abscesses and decay because 35% off all decay is not visible to the naked eye.

     We now have digital x-rays which benefits you:

bulletReduced exposure to radiation
bulletLess waiting time
bulletShorter appointments
bulletInvolved in co-diagnosis
bulletBetter understanding of treatment
bulletEnvironmentally friendly


Digital radiography, or computerized X-rays, is part of the high-tech services that we provide to our patients by utilizing the DEXIS® Digital X-ray system. Digital X-rays use less radiation than traditional film. Instead of a piece of film, the system’s sensor is placed in the mouth to capture an X-ray. The DEXIS® system uses a sensor with rounded corners and a smooth casing that makes the process of taking X-rays more comfortable for patients and more efficient for our staff. Another benefit is time savings. There’s no waiting—as soon as the X-ray is taken, it appears immediately on the computer monitor. And because of the enhancements in the digital X-ray software program, we are better able to diagnose and treat conditions. Since the images can be enlarged, patients are able to clearly visualize and understand the diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. We are pleased to offer digital X-rays and other technologies so that our patients gain a positive dent

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      Bite-Wings: Are a type of X-rays that allow us to obtain view of specific teeth.  They show the crowns and part of the root of 2 or 3 your teeth and the immediate surrounding bone level.   They are called Bite-Wing because the X-ray film holder provides a surface for you to bite down on in order to hold the X-ray securely in place. 

     They are used to help detect cavities in between the teeth; bone loss to evaluate periodontal conditions and to determine the quality of previous dental restorations (i.e. filling). It is recommended to take these yearly if you are in good dental health.  

Bite wing x-rays give detailed view of a specific area of your teeth  

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       Occlusal X-ray: are less common and are taken to show the whole bite of the upper or lower jaw.  This type of X-ray is used with children between the ages of 3-8 to show how the primary and permanent teeth are developing. Because we are all different there is no “standard” frequency interval.  

This x-ray shows the biting area of childrens teeth

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       Periapical X-ray (P.A.): Are used to provide images of the entire tooth from crown to root tip.  They are utilized to display the root, cysts, abscesses, etc. that are involved with toothaches. We can use them to also check bone level around teeth and to evaluate bone loss that is caused by periodontal disease.  

     They can also be used to assess existing dental work.  These X-rays give fine details that are extremely important in diagnosis.  It is taken only when necessary to aid in diagnosis of a particular condition.  

This x-ray provides a full view of the crown to the root tip of a tooth

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       Full Mouth Series: This involves 14 individual P.A.’s plus four Bite-Wings.  It is needed to find conditions such as cysts, tumors, gum disease or abscesses that exist in the bone surrounding the teeth.  It is used to determine the health of the teeth and the nerve tissue within the teeth, and can be employed as a comparison for the future if any problems should arise. This series of films are taken about every 5-7 years  

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       Panoramic X-ray: Is one X-ray that provides a full picture of your whole mouth- complete upper and lower jaw; sinuses and jaw joint. It is not as specific as the other X-rays because its purpose is to show the general condition of all the teeth.  It is used to help view- general tooth development; trauma; jaw joint pain; wisdom teeth and certain abnormalities. It will give a broad view but does not provide the fine detail that Bite-Wings or P.A.s provide.  This X-ray is to be taken every 5-7 years  

A panorex x-ray gives you an x-ray view of the whole mouth

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     So as you can see no matter how much Dr. Peterson checks your mouth there are still things he can NOT see without the use of X-rays. They are a vital and necessary part of your dental diagnostic process.  Without them certain conditions can and will be missed.

      Many diseases would go undetected for a long period of time if only the patient allows visual examinations.  Thus early detection of diseases such as cancer, diseases of the jaw and teeth would be difficult to determine and could otherwise go completely undetected causing you to possibly need drastic treatments in the future which could have been avoided through early detection by a simple X-ray. 

    Your history of dental X-rays can also prove very helpful in tracking the effectiveness of treatment and for future comparison especially if you have a dental emergency. In addition they are valuable in diagnosing developmental problems in children such as misalignment and improper eruption of adult teeth. Dental X-rays are one of the tools we need to use to get a COMPLETE picture of your dental health.

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Reasons For X-Rays

New Updates

Health Effects of Radiation

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) just released a report on the health effects of very low doses of radiation. This report was developed after an investigation of the theory that there is a threshold dose of radiation below which cancer is not induced. According to the chair of the committee that developed the report, the health risk posed by radiation from x-rays and other health procedures is so small that it should not deter people from seeking needed medical care. However, the report supports previously reported risk estimates and states, "It is unlikely that there is a threshold below which cancer (is) not induced."

The committee estimated that 1 out of 100 people would likely develop solid cancer or leukemia from an exposure to 100 millisievert of radiation over a lifetime, with half of those cases being fatal. The report states that in the United States people are exposed to background radiation at an average dose of 3 millisieverts annually, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the radiation dose from a dental x-ray ranges from 0.04 to 0.15 millisievert.

ADA Updates June 2005

(dental x-ray pictures courtesy of  Dental Reference)

2005 Dental Radiography Guidelines

New radiograph guidelines 2005

Guidelines for Prescribing X-Rays

XRay safety for staff members:

New X-Ray Guidelines 2005   no problem with cancers   problem with low birth weight  most extensive paper

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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