The Intersection of Cutting-Edge Technology and Your Dental Health
Take a look around almost any public space today, and you’ll find that technology is everywhere: from smartphones to smartwatches, tablet computers to e-readers, the latest devices are—literally—in the hands of most people. The same can be said for medical professionals. In the field of dentistry, digital X-rays are on the rise and offer a host of benefits.
When your dentist takes X-rays digitally, small comfortable sensors are placed in the mouth. The sensors connect to a computer and send imaging information to a digital-image capturing device, such as a TK. Within moments, the images are visible on the computer screen, and the image quality can be much more detailed, with less “visual noise” (or imperfections), than traditional radiography.
Similar to digital cameras versus shooting on film, the images are accessible immediately, because you don’t need to wait for traditional film to develop before the images are visible. Another similarity to digital photography: the X-rays can be enlarged as necessary for your dentist to carefully examine problem areas, meaning cavities, areas of decay, and other potential problems can be identified more easily. Digital radiography exposes patients 10 to 20 percent less radiation than traditional imaging methods, which is reassuring to many patients. Furthermore, the digital X-rays can be shared quickly and easily with other practitioners, such as in the case of getting a second opinion, switching dentists upon moving, or seeing a dental specialist for specific conditions.
Another advantage over traditional X-rays is what’s known as digital subtraction radiography. With special computer software, your dentist can easily compare new X-rays to older ones and precisely observe the differences between the two. By “subtracting” the similar areas of the images, subtraction radiography emphasizes just the areas where change has occurred, which can allow your dentist to identify the progression of a condition better than is possible with traditional X-rays.