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Nathan T Cary, DDS

Phillip G Cary, DDS


500 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424,  585.394.3322

Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

​​     We at Canandaigua Oral Surgery, PC share your concerns about exposure to radiation. This document is provided to help you to understand our approach to x-rays in the office and our general policies as relates to x-rays.


Dental and jaw x-rays are important for assistance in proper diagnosis of oral/dental problems, for monitoring the status of conditions within the bone of the jaws that have been treated or are simply being monitored in the long-term, and for surgical planning to achieve best outcomes and to minimize patient risk. Dental x-rays can reveal things that are not evident by clinical examination only.

  This will include:
     1.  Impacted, missing, and un-erupted teeth
     2.  Abscesses or cysts
     3.  Periodontal bone loss
     4.  Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
     5.  TMJ (jaw joint) pathology
     6.  Decay between teeth
     7.  Developmental abnormalities
     8.  Poor root and tooth positions

We utilize digital radiology equipment and computer software to get the best images possible with the least exposure to radiation for the patient. It has been established that digital x-rays can provide us with excellent diagnostic potential with as much as 80-90% reduction in radiation exposure as compared with standard dental x-rays.

Types of radiographs we use:

  1. Intra-oral:   Digital sensors are positioned in the mouth to allow for images of teeth and immediately surrounding bone.

  2. Panoramic:   Also digital, a panoramic radiograph will show the jaws and all teeth on a single image.

  3. Cone beam CT (CBCT):   This type of x-ray study allows for three dimensional (3D) evaluation of jaw structures. It is very similar to CT (Cat Scan) Imaging, but uses much less radiation than medical grade CT. Cone beam CT is used primarily for dental implant surgery planning in our office. These studies enable us to evaluate the bone where an implant or implants are being considered in all three dimensions in space. The height, width, and depth to vital structures (sinus, nerves, blood vessels, and adjacent teeth) of the intended implant site(s) can be studied in extreme detail. CBCT is also sometimes used to identify the location and dimensions of bone lesions (cysts, tumors, infections) and to precisely locate and identify impacted teeth and important anatomic structures nearby. Cone Beam studies do expose the patient to more radiation than with typical dental x-rays, and as such are only done when the information CBCT can provide is very important for surgical planning or diagnosis.

We are happy to use x-ray studies that are done by your general dentist or another dental specialist. This simply requires the patient to contact the office that took the x-rays and request that they are sent to us. We may need to take additional radiographs if the images provided are not satisfactory for proper diagnosis or surgical planning.​


All x-rays need to be of adequate quality and need to show the region of interest clearly.  We also need to have images that are reasonable in terms of time elapsed since the study was performed.  We are happy to discuss the details of x-ray use so as to reassure you of the need and rationale for any radiographs we take.

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