Our practice uses only digital radiography for X-rays. The physical process for digital radiography is actually similar to traditional dental X-rays that use film: With digital radiography, your dentist inserts a plate into your mouth to capture images of your teeth — but that’s where the similarities between conventional and digital dental X-rays end. Although it resembles the film used for bitewings and other X-rays in the past, the digital plate is scanned by a computer. Once the X-ray is taken, the image is projected on a screen for you to view.
There are several benefits to using digital radiography over traditional film X-rays:
Low Radiation — The equipment used in digital radiography exposes dental patients to much less radiation. In fact, digital X-rays use up to 90 percent less radiation than film X-rays.
Shorter Dental Appointments — With traditional dental X-rays, you’ll have to wait while your dentist develops the film. With digital radiography, the plate develops the picture almost instantly and projects it onto a computer screen right before your eyes.
Higher Quality Images — The standard size of traditional X-rays can make viewing difficult, but digital radiography has done away with the “one size fits all” mentality. Once on the screen, digital X-rays can be enlarged or magnified for a better visual of the tooth’s structure. Brightness, contrast and color can also be adjusted, allowing your dentist to see small cavities easier. If you need a hard copy of your X-ray, digital images can also be printed out.
Transferring Dental Records — Digital images can be e-mailed to a dental specialist for immediate review. Digital X-rays are taking away the expense and time needed to copy files and mail them to another dentist, making it easier to transfer dental records or get a second opinion.