Dentists depend on X-ray images to view and diagnose dental issues unseen to the naked eye. Along with film and video cameras, X-rays have made the switch in recent years from conventional film to digital.
Digital X-ray imaging is becoming the standard for dental practices across the country, including dentists in Boston. But is this newer technology really better? For many reasons that matter to both dentists and patients, the answer is, yes.
What are the advantages of digital X-rays?
There are a number of advantages of digital X-rays over film. Here are just a few.
Less exposure to radiation
Radiation is often among patients’ top concerns. Digital imaging significantly reduces patient exposure, minimizing it by an impressive 70% compared to traditional film imaging. Plus, digital X-rays usually require fewer retakes due to poor exposure, bad positioning, or other issues, ultimately decreasing the amount of radiation exposure even further.
Images ready immediately
The dentist can view digital images within seconds of taking them, while film, takes several minutes to develop in a darkroom before viewing. This is helpful not only because it saves time for dentists and patients, but it can also be useful to dentists who need information during dental procedures.
With the easy-to-use software included with digital radiography systems, it is possible to quickly enhance X-ray images. You can make changes to the image’s size, contrast level, or brightness level, which in some cases may make a problem easier to see and diagnose. It also makes it easier for patients to see problems when viewing their own X-rays with a dentist.
The dentist’s office can store images on a computer instead of in physical form. Additionally, digital X-ray images that can be transferred via computer facilitate easier communication between different dental and orthodontic offices. This proves especially useful when one doctor has to refer a patient to another.
It pays off in the long run
While the cost of digital imaging equipment may be higher upfront, digital radiography is less expensive and more environmentally friendly (resulting in less chemical waste) in the long run.