Question: What are the advantages of digital dental x-rays over conventional dental x-rays?

dx1Answer: Dental radiographs, or x-rays are an important part of a thorough dental examination. They are important for many reasons.
-    they can reveal hidden dental decay.
-    reveal a dental abscess, cyst or tumor.
-    show impacted or extra teeth.
-    reveal the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges and root canal.
-    reveal periodontal bone loss and shows subgingival calculus (tartar).
-    reveal quantity of bone for dental implant placement.

dx2Dentists are very concerned about minimizing the amount of radiation a patient receives at the dental office. Conventional radiographs in the dental office deliver 800 times less radiation than a typical chest x-ray. Usually a lead apron is used to cover patients when the x-rays are being taken to help minimize the amount of radiation exposure. Dental x-rays are both safe and effective, and can be used during pregnancy as long as a lead apron is used while obtaining the x-rays.

dx3Digital x-rays are computer generated images, they require 90% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays to produce the images. Instead of x-ray film that needs to be to be developed in an x-ray film processor, the digital film instantaneously transmits an image to a monitor in the treatment room , this image can in turn be enlarged and the contrast adjusted in order to see dental pathology in more detail.

Advantages of Digital x-rays
dx4-    90 % less radiation
-    Images can be magnified, contrast adjusted, measurements can be made by utilizing the computer program.
-    Easier for patients to appreciate their dental problems when it can be shown to them on a computer monitor.
-    No x-ray film, film processor or processing chemicals are necessary.
-    Images can easily be e-mailed to colleagues and dental insurance companies.

The main advantage of digital x-rays is less radiation exposure to the patient, however conventional x-rays are still considered very safe and radiation exposure minimal. Digital x-rays are definitely more efficient, an inadequate image can be deleted and retaken immediately, this saves valuable time over traditional x-rays that need to be developed, mounted and then evaluated to see if they are adequate. In many instances dental decay can be identified earlier, so that treatment can be initiated early, this will in turn prevent more costly procedures in the future.
As the technology improves many more dentists are investing in digital x-ray equipment, although much more costly than traditional x-ray machines, the advantages are definitely worth the increase expense..