Digital Radiography (X-Rays)
Radiography is the imaging of tissue using radiation. In our office, our team uses x-rays to asses a patient's oral health when our professionals need to see parts of the body unavailable to the naked eye. Conventional radiography uses film, which has now been replaced by digital radiography because it is faster, safer, and more accurate. Summit Dental Care uses radiography to improve the treatment that our team offers patients, by being able to give a more accurate diagnostic.
How Is a Digital X-ray Taken?
X-rays fire minuscule amounts of radiation at a patient's body - aimed at the desired location - which the tissue will then absorb at different rates to make up a black and white image of the body part. This is helpful because if there are any abnormalities, they will also soak up the radiation and appear on the x-ray. Alternatively, x-rays can show the positioning of a body part for our accurate assessment, such as the jaw in the case of a patient having pain or difficulty chewing. The amount of radiation fired at the patient's body is the same amount of background radiation that a patient would normally experience in 10 days.
It is a safe amount of radiation, and our dentists would never schedule an x-ray if it could be detrimental to a patient's health. Our dentists will stand behind a screen because they administer x-rays frequently; it would not be safe for them to be exposed to radiation multiple times a week for the duration of their career. In terms of dentistry, an x-ray will be intraoral or extraoral, which means inside the mouth or outside the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are used to look at specific teeth, a row of teeth, or the whole oral cavity. Extraoral x-rays investigate larger structures like the jaw, the salivary glands, or the overall bone structure of the oral cavity.
Why Is Digital Radiography Better Than Conventional Radiography?
One of the most obvious differences between conventional radiography and digital radiography is the use of film. Film takes time to develop and is slower. Digital radiography's x-rays are computer generated and upload to our system almost instantly. This saves time, but this also means the files are easily transferable to another office, should a patient relocate.
The digital generation of the x-ray also hosts its own benefits, including a wider range of grey-scale, which gives the dentists a larger amount of detail when it comes to analyzing the x-ray, and the use of the photo editing tools. Photo editing tools can be used to zoom in on the x-ray or to increase the contrast to better see abnormalities. These are not possible with a film x-ray. The most important benefit to a digital x-ray is that it uses 70% less radiation than the conventional method. This makes it even safer for our patients, especially for those who have x-rays more frequently than others.
Summit Dental Care uses digital radiography to attain more accurate data about a patient's oral health in a safe, accurate and fast manner. We would never advise an x-ray if it could adversely affect your oral health. To book a consultation appointment with us now, call our office at 206-292-9980.