To keep up with the most recent technology, we offer digital radiographs (x-rays). We want our patients to be as safe and as healthy as possible. With the advances of digital x-rays, the radiation from a full set of x-rays is equivalent to about 2 days of just living on Earth. Your standard 4 check-up x-rays are equivalent to being outside for about 6 hours.
Dental X-rays are used to pinpoint areas of tooth decay or bone loss, and they are an important aid during root canal procedures. For years, an X-ray at the dentist’s office went pretty much the same way: The dentist or an assistant would put a piece of film in a plastic holder in your mouth, tell you not to move, and disappear. You’d hear a quick clicking sound. Then you would wait for someone to return with tiny films that could be displayed on a light box or board.
Those days are fading. Digital technology has spread to the dentist’s office, with a number of advantages. For digital X-rays, an electronic sensor is placed inside the mouth instead of film. Digital processing is a little faster than traditional film X-rays, so there’s less exposure to radiation. But even traditional dental X-rays expose patients to only extremely low levels of radiation, so any risk for potentially harmful effects is minimal.
Getting the Big Picture—Fast
There is no need for a darkroom, chemicals, or developing time. Instead of viewing small film images on a light box, large-format digital images are viewed on a computer screen.
These bigger, clearer images make it easy for dentists to show patients their X-ray in order to explain a diagnosis and illustrate the discussion about treatment. Problem areas can be magnified. Brightness and contrast can be adjusted so that even tiny amounts of decay are visible.
Safer Storage and Streamlined Image Sharing
Because only one original exists, film records are at risk for being destroyed or lost. Digital images can be stored at your dentist’s office and copied to a backup storage system off site in case of a fire or flood.
Digital radiographs can be easily copied, printed, or e-mailed to other dental professionals for consultation. Comparing new images with those from previous visits is easier, too.
Just as digital camera technology revolutionized photography for both amateurs and the pros, digital radiography is bringing state-of-the-art imaging systems to dental practices everywhere.