Digital Radiographs Protect Your Family By Needing Less Radiation
Digital radiography can take x-rays of your teeth by using a computer. Not only do digital x-rays expose our patients and staff members to 90% less radiation than typical film-type x-rays, they are also much more sensitive compared to classic dental x-rays. Digital x-rays allow us to clearly look at the whole tooth and root structure along with surrounding bone and tissue. They offer us the opportunity to identify and diagnose complications before they are noticeable to the naked eye, and before they can bring about substantial damage and discomfort.
To get an x-ray, a small sensor pad which is connected by a line to a computer, is placed in the mouth. A beam will then be sent through your teeth towards the sensor which saves the images. The doctors and staff can quickly pull up the digital x-rays on a monitor to review the final results. Forget about waiting around for x-rays to develop. The doctor can also share with you the images allowing you to see what we are telling you with regards to your oral issue.
Then we can keep your x-rays on our computers and gain access to them faster than in the past. On top of that, your images may be sent digitally to insurance companies, dramatically lowering processing time and leading to faster treatment.
It seems funny now to think back on when our dental practice used photographic film x-rays. This will be something that someday every dental office will look back upon with a chuckle, kind of like 8-track tapes in your car. Of course, that’s if you can remember 8-track tapes. Maybe, I should reference cassette tapes. They were once the latest technology in music.
Photographic film x-rays have been in use by dentists since the 1800’s. There were many problems with them but there were no alternatives. Remember how that big chunk of cardboard that held the film was dry and made you choke? And, the edges would hurt your gums? Remember when the assistant took the x-ray and then you had to wait while they processed it in chemicals, which were later discarded, adding pollution to the clean water cycle. Sometimes they dried the x-ray films, other times they just used them wet. Then, if the x-ray was a good one and didn’t have to be redone, you and the doctor would squint at this little piece of film. The dentist would try to point out problems or decay, but you couldn’t see it. I don’t mind telling you that I’m glad that obsolete tool has been replaced by progressive practices.