Digital X-Rays—3 Important Ways They Have Changed Dentistry

One of the biggest areas of contention between many patients and their dentist is the topic of dental x-rays. There are a number of patients who question the validity of x-rays, going to far as to refuse having x-rays taken unless they’re in pain.

While we can’t be sure if the dental x-ray argument will ever completely be settled, there has been some progress in recent years. More offices are moving from conventional x-rays to digital x-rays. Why? What are the benefits of digital x-rays? Before we go into that, let’s briefly review some dental x-ray facts.

Why Are X-Rays Needed?

Dental x-rays have been around for quite some time; however, there is still the question of why they’re needed. Simply put—dental x-rays allow dentists to see what they can’t see with the naked eye.

When doing an oral examination, the dentist can evaluate only three surfaces of your teeth (front, back and biting surfaces) and your soft tissue. Dental x-rays show what’s going on in between the teeth as well as with the nerve, root and the surrounding bone.

Dental x-rays can help prevent problems. For instance, if caught early, decay can simply be excavated and the tooth filled. Without an x-ray, decay can’t always be detected. This can result in the decay progressing and causing more problems—pain, the need for a root canal, or even the loss of a tooth.

The 3 Main Ways Digital X-Rays Are Changing Modern Dentistry

Now that we know why x-rays are so important, let us move on to how digital x-rays are improving modern dentistry.

  1. Less Radiation. Radiation exposure is the #1 reason why people decline x-rays. Digital x-ray machines have been designed to reduce radiation exposure. In fact, according to some estimates, digital x-rays give up to 70% less exposure than conventional x-rays. Some sources estimate that rate to be even higher—up to 80% less!
  2. Instant Feedback. Patients and dental professionals alike love this feature of digital dental x-rays. Now you can get a diagnosis right away! No more waiting for developing and processing—results are immediate.
  3. Quality Images. A concern that many dental professionals originally had with digital x-rays was image quality. A conventional dental x-ray, if taken properly, is crisp and clear, allowing the dentist to make an accurate diagnosis. Many were worried they wouldn’t get the same quality with digital x-rays. Each year, digital x-ray programs improve and offer more features that allow the dentist even better image viewing capabilities. For example, images can be enlarged so that the dentist can more closely evaluate anomalies and determine whether there is an issue or not.

Your Dental Professional—Committed to Providing You with the Best Care

If you’re still unsure about the benefit of digital x-rays, contact your dental health provider. Your dentist, dental assistant or hygienist can give you more information about digital dental x-rays.

When a dental office purchases a digital x-ray unit, the staff receives specialized training. They can go over what they’ve learned with you and may even have some informational pamphlets that you can read at your leisure.

When considering the role digital x-rays will have in your patient care, always remember this: your dentist is committed to providing you the best care possible. They want to protect you from future problems and ensure you don’t experience dental pain if at all possible.

If you have questions or concerns about dental x-rays or any dental treatments, schedule a consultation with your dentist today.