Also known as radiographs, Digital X-Rays are of 2 types, including intraoral and extraoral X-rays.
The most common type are the intraoral X-rays and they provide plenty of detail and make it easy for the dental professional to monitor the patient’s general jawbone and teeth health, check the status and health of developing teeth, bone and also find cavities.
On the other hand, while the extra oral X-rays do show teeth, they usually focus on the skull and jaw. The purpose of these X-rays is to identify possible issues between jaws and teeth and the TMJ, but also monitor the development and growth of the jaw in relation to the teeth and help identify impacted teeth. There are many other types of digital X-rays that can be performed in a dentist’s office though, including occlusal, panoramic, bite-wing and periapical X-rays.
The procedure itself is simple: the patient is covered with a lead apron and takes a seat. Next, a small plastic apparatus is inserted into his mouth and he is asked to bite it down. Finally, the dentist will take an X-ray of the targeted area. There is no pain involved.
The benefits of Digital x-rays
Shorter Dental Appointments:
Did you know that you can now shorten your dental appointment if you opt for digital X-ray imaging? That’s because with this method, the image of your tooth is developed instantly, while with traditional X-ray imaging, you had to wait for the dentist to develop the image and that could take a while.
Higher Quality Images:
Did you know that with digital X-ray imaging the images of your teeth can be magnified in order to offer a better visual of the tooth’s structure? On top of that, color, contrast and also brightness can be adjusted so that the dentist can easily see small cavities. Copies of the X-ray can also be provided to the patients, should they need them.
Digital X-rays are a lot safer for the environment. That is because there are no chemicals used in order to develop the film, as opposed to conventional X-rays. There is also no need to store film and no need to consider renting more space in order to develop them.
Transferring Dental Records:
If you need to send the digital X-rays to another dentist in order for him to review them, then that can be easily done. Better yet, it seems that there are more and more offices that turn to electronic patient charts, so in the near future patients won’t ever have to worry about mailing dental records to their dentists.
One of the many benefits of digital X-rays is the fact that patients aren’t exposed to as much radiation as they would be should they have opted for traditional X-ray imaging. Compared to film X-rays, digital X-ray equipment uses about ninety percent less radiation. It’s not to say that traditional X-ray equipment is dangerous, but if you take X-rays quite often, then it’s recommended you go to dentists that use digital X-ray equipment.
The Full Picture
It’s true that using digital X-rays is going to make any dentist’s work that much easier, but given the fact that they can also use additional software programs is even better. One of them is a subtraction software program which allows dentists to compare previous and current pictures of the same tooth in order to see whether any changes occurred in its structure during a certain period of time or not.
In the professional community, digital imaging is becoming more and more popular and given the fact that the initial investment in order to get this type of equipment in the office is cheaper, dentists don’t need to worry about committing to a large investment. Currently, about 55% of dental offices use digital radiography the by 2020 it’s estimated that more than 95% will use it.
At the end of the day, regardless of the type of X-rays dentists choose to use, dental X-rays are an essential part of a patient’s dental visit. Since they’re so much more effective, they can help dentists diagnose conditions and diseases that may not be visible using traditional imaging equipment. Given the fact they’re also cheaper and eco friendly makes them an overall better choice.