Why Are Digital Dental X-Rays Better?

Why Are Digital Dental X-Rays Better?

Jul 01, 2022

There have been a lot of negative conversations about the safety of x-rays for dental procedures. While not all the conceptions are unfounded, get the right information regarding x-rays before dismissing them as harmful and unnecessary for your treatment. Besides, modern dentistry always provides alternatives to meet patients’ needs and preferences.

What Are Dental X-Rays?

They are tests that help evaluate the internal framework of the oral cavity. Ideally, during dental exams, Smithfield dentists can only see the external features of your oral cavity, such as the tongue and teeth. However, when evaluating your gums or bone tissue, for instance, more in-depth tests are necessary.

X-rays employ radiation to take images of your oral cavity, capturing the bones and soft tissues. In many cases, x-rays are for diagnostic tests before your dentist can give a prognosis for your oral problem.

When Do You Need an X-Ray?

Dental x-rays are not for everyday evaluations. Ideally, dentists recommend x-rays to examine and analyze your oral health especially when they have speculation that you may have an underlying oral problem. some of the cases that may dictate an x-ray are:

  1. Before an oral surgery
  2. During a comprehensive dental exam
  3. If you have severe gum disease – also called periodontitis
  4. During emergency dentistry
  5. For diagnostic purposes

Difference Between Traditional X-Rays and Digital X-Rays

Dentists have used x-rays since the early 1900s. Throughout the centuries, dental experts have been able to diagnose many dental conditions and treat them accordingly. However, as years go by, new changes must be integrated into dentistry.

Modern dentistry has encountered many improvements thanks to the evolution in technology. Some of the evident changes are in the technology we use at Webber Comprehensive Dentistry for diagnosis and treatment, including digital x-rays.

The digital x-rays in Smithfield are more like modern-day digital cameras. While these x-rays serve the same role as traditional dental x-rays, there are differences in how they work. For one, the sensor mechanism is different for the two x-rays, digital x-rays use sensors connected to a computer instead of a film. Therefore, the result is clearer and more accurate images of your oral cavity. Other differences between the two tests are:

  1. Levels of radiation – digital x-rays expose you to significantly less radiation.
  2. Paperless – digital x-rays must not be developed on film, as is the case with traditional radiation. The images are processed and accessed virtually.
  3. Smaller equipment and storage room – digital imaging eliminates the need for a darkroom to develop films. Besides, dental experts do not need to allocate space for storing files or films for different patients when they can do it virtually.

Are Digital X-Rays Better than Traditional Ones?

The differences between digital and traditional x-rays are prominent enough to impact your decision when seeking general dental care. Some of the ways that digital imaging is better than conventional one are:

  1. Digital x-rays produce 80% less radiation than traditional ones – making them safer to use, especially for conservative patients who worry about radiation exposure. However, traditional x-rays can still be safe for use if they are used sparingly.
  2. Increase precision – thanks to computer imaging, digital images are clearer and more accurate than those from traditional imaging.
  3. Ease of storing information – digital x-rays do not require hardcopy production of images on films. Therefore, dentists do not have to figure out a tedious storage mechanism for your x-ray images. Instead, dental experts can store the information on computer hard drives for easy retrieval. The unlimited storage space lifts the limitation on the number of images you can take during an x-ray. Further, it makes it easier for dental experts to share information amongst themselves when considering your medical history.
  4. Cost-effectiveness – Film is expensive, making the cost of traditional imaging costly. Besides that, the dentist will need time to develop the film after taking the images. Therefore, you save time and money with digital x-rays more than with traditional ones.
  5. Environmentally friendly choice – the chemicals involved in film production for traditional x-rays are toxic to the environment. Since these processes are unnecessary for digital imaging, it becomes a more environmentally friendly choice.

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