by Sepi Fatahi, DMD
Particular benefits of digital radiography for the dentist’s office include improved comfort of intra-oral (photos taken inside the mouth) X-rays, and less cranial exposure to radiation. Digital images are also easily stored on a computer and can be transferred to different dentists or orthodontists for referrals. Overall digital radiography has been beneficial for both dental providers and patients.
- The film is immediately processed and available to view, whereas film takes time to be developed, and thus the patient's wait time is decreased
Less radiation needed to produce the same quality image as film (digital X-rays gives 70% less exposure to radiation than conventional X-rays), thus more x-rays can be taken if needed without added risk
You can enhance the digital image (such as alter brightness and contrast) with a series of processing techniques, increasing the accuracy and detection of smaller cavities
Digital archiving—the ability to store images on a computer, allowing viewing of images at multiple locations
Digital radiography produces larger photos to better source hard-to-see cavities, which means earlier detection and less tooth destruction
Digital radiography, though expensive to buy initially, is cheaper and more environmentally friendly in the long run
Grey-scale of digital X-rays offers 256 shades of grey versus 16-25 shades in conventional radiography.