Digital x-rays are a type of imaging that uses x-ray sensors to capture a digital image of your teeth. Traditional x-rays use film and then require developing the film to see the image. A good analogy that people can easily understand is digital cameras. You snap the picture and can view it in your camera or phone. You can even transfer it to your computer. You don’t have to take film out of your camera and then have it developed like we did years ago.
Advantages of Digital X-Rays
According to the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene, here are some of the great advantages to using digital x-rays:
- You have the image to view right away with no extra time needed to develop it.
- About 70% less radiation exposure occurs using digital x-rays instead of conventional X-rays.
- You can enhance x-ray images more easily, by making them brighter or by increasing the contrast.
- You can store the images on a computer, which takes up less space than cabinet files of x-ray films.
- Images are generally larger, making it easier to detect small cavities.
- In the long run, digital x-rays are more environmentally friendly and cheaper.
Advantages of Traditional X-Rays
Even though digital x-rays offer lots of benefits, conventional x-rays have some advantages over them, which is why some dentists still use them:
- Digital x-rays are more comfortable for patients than when taking traditional x-rays because film sensors are larger and more rigid.
- You get excellent picture quality.
- No extra training is necessary to use them.
- Conventional X-ray sensors don’t require using plastic disinfectant covers.
- Films cannot be altered the way digital images can
It’s important to understand that x-rays are safe and a very valuable diagnostic tool for dentists. By using them, we help you have healthy teeth and gums.
Dr. Baker is always glad to answer your questions and explain facts about dental technology.