June 5th, 2014
Digital Radiography is the process of taking x-rays using digital components rather than film. There are many benefits to digital x-rays compared to the old, film versions of x-rays. Not only is it safer, it’s quicker, more efficient, and can help save your teeth from unseeable damage.
Prior to the digital age, x-rays required an expensive roll of film, that could not be exposed to light, and developed through a darkroom process with chemicals often harmful to the environment. The process took a considerable amount of time and money. And, if the photo did not capture your teeth perfectly, or missed a section the dentist wanted to specifically see, the process would have to be redone, starting from the beginning.
If the x-rays were taken correctly, there was still no way to zoom in, or manipulate the photo to enhance its view. This allowed dentists limited flexibility when it came to diagnosing with a film x-ray. And, when finished using an x-ray, they need to be stored in a safe and dry place for future use, often taking up much needed space in the dentist’s office.
Digital Radiography has changed all of that. Now, dentists are able to capture full x-rays of the mouth that are able to be viewed within seconds. If the dentist does not capture the exact area they are focused on, it’s a quick snap and only a few more seconds to confirm the proper x-ray. As well, it reduces the use of environmentally harmful chemicals that are needed to develop film.
Digital x-rays also allow for a good amount of manipulation and available processing. Zooming in on specific areas and changing the color or contrast of the image allows for better evaluation of the x-ray and your teeth. The more knowledge your dentist is able to receive, the better they will be at taking proper care of your teeth.
Further benefits include the ability to immediately share the x-rays with doctors in other facilities. For example, if your dentist wanted you to see and orthodontic surgeon, they could quickly forward the x-rays for inspection rather than making the orthodontist take additional x-rays. As well, if you wanted the x-rays for your own records, the dentist could easily forward to you through email.
When finished with the x-rays, your dentist is able to easily store the images, along with all patients on a digital hard drive. This allows for easy access without the need for physical storage.
Best of all, digital x-rays often use much less radiation to capture their images. In some cases, up to 70% less radiation than a film x-ray. This makes it safer for patients to receive x-rays and reduces the worry of over-exposure to radiation.
Digital radiography is a safer and more efficient process to taking x-rays of a patient’s mouth. Whether it be a periapical, bitewing, occlusal, or full mouth view, digital x-rays can help dentists get the most from their x-rays while saving much needed space, reducing use of harmful chemicals, and keeping radiation exposure to a minimum.
If you have more questions about the benefits digital radiography, or would like to talk to an experienced dentist about receiving x-rays for your teeth and a proper cleaning, contact Water Tower Dental today. We are happy to help!