What Are Digital Dental X-Rays?

digital x-rays - Dentist examining a dental x-ray.

What Are Digital Dental X-Rays?

Since their introduction in the 1980s, digital x-rays have been overtaking their traditional counterparts at most dental practices. X-rays are a valuable and convenient tool for dentists who need to ensure that there are no unseen issues with your teeth. Digital innovations have made this tool even better by increasing the quality of images and ease of use.

Here at Prescott Dentistry, we aim to be at the forefront of dental innovation and technology, so we use digital x-rays during examinations. Our experienced dental professionals can and will walk you through the digital x-ray process and ensure your comfort the entire time.

How Do Digital X-Rays Work?

Like other x-ray techniques, digital x-rays can be used to create images of the interior of the teeth and mouth. These images may expose hidden issues with your teeth or gums that a visual inspection would miss, such as impacted teeth.

The traditional x-ray method relies on a film placed inside the mouth to capture the image. An x-ray camera then fires an invisible beam of radiation at the film, causing a reaction that creates an image. After that, a technician has to take the film to a darkroom and treat it using chemicals in order to produce the final image on the film.

Instead of film, digital imaging utilizes x-ray sensors. A dentist will place the sensors within the mouth and connect them to a nearby computer. These sensors require only 20% of the radiation that film does to capture the image. Because the sensors connect to a computer, your dentist can access the digital image immediately.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Dental X-Rays?

Digital x-rays offer several advantages compared to traditional x-ray methods that have pushed dentists to invest in them. These include processing time, image quality, storage, and radiation.

Speedy Process

Dentists can produce digital x-rays at lightning speed compared to traditional x-ray images. Digital x-rays do not require film development. Instead, they are created and transferred to the connected computer instantly. Even if a mistake occurs and requires a second round of x-rays, it is typically a quick process, and the short wait time means that staff can spot issues immediately.

Image Quality

Digital images have a far superior quality compared to traditional x-ray images, especially when it comes to clarity. Additionally, dentists can enlarge digital images without losing quality to better identify hard-to-notice issues.

Easy Storage and Transfer of Digital X-Rays

Digital images can last forever, as long as you have some form of hardware or cloud storage. This means that your dentist can maintain your dental record more accurately for future check-ups. If you need to visit a specialist, your dentist can also provide copies to the specialist for reference.

Less Long-Term Radiation

Although traditional x-rays do not use enough radiation to cause damage after a single use, a lifetime of x-rays can damage the body due to long-term exposure to radiation. Less intensive method such as digital dental x-rays can protect the health of patients while providing the best service possible.

In Need of a Dental X-Ray?

If you’ve experienced recent pain in your mouth but can’t figure out the cause, then you may be in need of a dental x-ray. Here at Prescott Dentistry, we have you covered—our expert staff can use digital x-rays to identify the cause and get you the treatment you need. Contact us today at 928-445-1660, and we can schedule an appointment to ensure that your teeth are protected.

Photo by Colynary Media on Unsplash.