Benefits of Digital Radiography in Dentistry

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.

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