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X-rays. Most dentists won’t do anything to your teeth without them. Dental professionals increasingly use digital dental radiographs (digital X-rays) to better detect, diagnose, treat, and monitor oral conditions and diseases.

How It Works

Digital radiography, a type of X-ray imaging that uses digital X-ray sensors to replace traditional photographic X-ray film, produces enhanced computer images of teeth, gums, and other oral structures and conditions.

Digital dental images are captured in three ways: the direct method, indirect method, and semi-indirect method.

  • The direct method uses an electronic sensor placed in the mouth to record images.
  • The indirect technique uses an X-ray film scanner to view traditional dental X-rays as digital images.
  • The semi-indirect digital technique combines a sensor and scanner to convert dental X-rays into a digital film.

Benefits of Digital X-ray

The advantages of digital x-rays are many. They include:

  • Revealing small hidden areas of decay between teeth or below existing restorations (fillings), bone infections, gum (periodontal) disease, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities, and tumors that cannot be detected with only a visual dental examination.
  • Can be viewed instantly on any computer screen, manipulated to enhance contrast and detail, and transmitted electronically to specialists without quality loss.
  • Provides early detection and treatment of dental problems and can save time, money, and discomfort.
  • Micro-storage technology allows greater data storage capacity on small, space-saving drives.
  • Eliminating chemical processing and disposal of hazardous wastes and lead foil, thereby presenting a “greener” and eco-friendly alternative.
  • Can be transferred easily to other dentists with compatible computer technology, or photo printed for dentists without compatible technology.
  • Digital sensors and PSP (photostimulable phosphor) plates are more sensitive to X-radiation.
  • Features contrasting, colorizing, 3-D, sharpness, flip, zoom, and assist in detection and interpretation, which in turn assist in diagnosis and patient education.
  • Digital images of problem areas can be transferred and enhanced on a computer screen next to the patient’s chair.
  • Dental images can be stored easily in electronic patient records and sent quickly to insurance companies, referring dentists or consultants, thereby eliminating, or reducing treatment disruption and leading to faster dental insurance reimbursements.

Is It safe?

Concerns about X-ray safety have been logged since the early days when its effect on the body came into question. Dentists would position slides in your mouth and run from the room like their hair was on fire. FYI: Digital X-rays require 50 to 80 percent less radiation than film. The technology adheres to the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle, which promotes radiation safety.

The Douglas Family Dentistry Experience

Douglas Family Dentistry uses state-of-the-art dental equipment to ensure ultimate patient safety and care. If you live in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding communities, let’s talk. Call us at 480-948-3680 or go to our website to schedule an appointment.