Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

What You Need To Know About Digital Radiography

Digital radiography is now being seen as the future of dental imaging. It is basically a form of X-ray imaging that uses digital sensors as opposed to the traditional X-ray film. The result is enhanced computer images of gums, teeth and other oral conditions. Digital dental radiography allows for better diagnosis, detection and monitoring of diseases and dental conditions. There are several techniques used in digital radiography to achieve imaging finesse, and they make this this procedure beneficial as compared with traditional X-ray methods.

Digital Radiography Methods

Digital images can be acquired by the use of the indirect method, direct method or the semi-direct method. The indirect method makes use of an X-ray film scanner to get digital images. The direct method is done using an electronic sensor that is placed in the patient's mouth. The semi-direct method combines the use of a scanner and a sensor.

Are you contemplating switching to digital radiography? The following are some of the benefits of this technology.

Benefits Of Digital Radiography Over Traditional X-rays

  • Digital radiographs are able to reveal hidden places of decay in between teeth. Digital imaging also helps to disclose bone infections, abscesses or cysts, gum diseases, tumours and abnormalities which cannot be easily detected through traditional X-rays. Early detection allows for the problem to be dealt with immediately resulting in less discomfort.
  • Digital images can be viewed immediately on a computer screen. The images can also be manipulated to enhance detail and contrast. They can also be transmitted electronically in the event that a dentist needs to get a second opinion. This means better treatment for patients.
  • Digital radiographs also come with digital micro-storage. This affords greater storage capacity on space-saving drives. The dentist can easily retrieve the images in your subsequent visits.
  • Dental radiography is a greener alternative. This is because it eliminates the disposal of hazardous wastes such as lead foil.
  • Digital radiography uses photostimulable plates which have a higher sensitivity to X-ray radiation as compared to film. This technology promotes radiation safety.
  • Digital imaging features include features such as: colourising, 3-D images, contrasting, zooming and flipping the image, which are very useful when it comes to interpretation and detection of dental conditions. These features also make it easy for the dentist to educate the patient based on the results of the radiography.

Safety Measures

Caution needs to be taken when radiation is involved. Despite the fact that digital radiography exposure is low, thyroid collars and lead aprons must be used. This is important especially for pregnant women and those who are still of child bearing age. In most cases, the dentist will delay radiography until after pregnancy. However, in emergency cases, double lead aprons are used to provide extra protection for the expectant mother.

For more information, talk to a dentist like Dr David Young & Associates Dental Surgeons.