What Is a Digital X-Ray?
Digital x-rays, also known as digital radiographs, are quickly taking the place of traditional film-based dental x-rays and have become one of the most important advances in dental technology today, offering our patients substantial benefits. They allow Aloha dentist Dr. Melika Kashkouli to detect decay and disease earlier than what’s possible with a basic oral exam During a digital x-ray, a small sensor is placed inside your mouth, instead of the traditional paper tabs that fit awkwardly and often cause pain. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin, unobtrusive wire and records a highly detailed image of your mouth. The image is then sent to the computer, where it is instantly projected onto a screen for the dentist to review.
The two primary types of dental x-rays are intraoral (taken from inside the mouth) and extraoral (taken from the outside). Bitewing x-rays are the most common type of intraoral radiograph. Traditionally, uncomfortable pieces of film were placed inside the mouth for the patient to bite down on while the x-ray was being taken. With digital technology, the small sensors make this type of imaging much more comfortable. A panoramic x-ray is an extraoral x-ray in which a machine rotates around the head. The resulting images allow the dentist to see the entire mouth at once.
What Are the Benefits of Digital X-Rays?
Digital x-rays benefit both patient and dentist alike in many ways. Benefits include:
- Reduced chair time and wait time — results are instant and highly accurate
- Improved imaging — images can also be sharpened, enlarged, and optimized in a variety of ways that improve diagnostic proficiency
- Less radiation — the radiation exposure from digital imaging is 80% less than from traditional x-rays
- Decreased environmental impact — digital x-rays eliminate the material and chemical waste produced by traditional film-based x-rays