Digital X-rays are a newer technique for dental radiography, or taking impressions of your mouth. Instead of the old method, which requires developing X-ray film in a dark room, digital X-rays are sent directly to a computer where they can be viewed immediately on screen, stored, or printed out.
Dental X-rays are an important part of your regular dental check-up, as they help diagnose problems that are not always visible to the naked eye.
The physical process for taking a digital X-ray is similar to the traditional one and involves inserting a digital sensor into your mouth to capture images of your teeth.
There are many benefits of digital dental X-ray technology:
- It exposes patients to less radiation – up to 90 percent less than traditional film X-rays.
- Images can be viewed on screen seconds after being taken, rather than waiting for film X-rays to develop.
- High quality images can be enhanced and enlarged many times their actual size. This makes it easier to show you on screen where and what the problem with your tooth or mouth is.
- Computer software allows digital comparisons of a new digital X-ray to a previous image. This helps easily identify the tiniest change that may not be visible to the naked eye.
- Environmentally friendly – digital dental X-rays are better for the environment because they don’t require the chemicals used to develop film X-rays.
Digital dental X-ray exams are safe, however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure. Dental X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. Every precaution is taken to ensure radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonable Achievable (the ALARA principle). A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and may be used, especially for pregnant women and children.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about digital X-rays, call Brookside Dental Care in the Allentown, PA area today, (610) 624-6070.