Despite digital radiography being around for longer than a decade, not all dental offices have taken advantage of this technology. In fact, the majority of dentists in the US continue to use conventional x-ray imaging over digital imaging, often due to the high costs of equipment. However, Weissman Dental is fortunate to be able to offer digital x-ray technology due to its many benefits over conventional film x-rays.
While not all digital radiography equipment offers immediate viewing, it seems that technology is moving in that direction. Immediately examining an image provides a significant clinical benefit when performing numerous oral procedures. Areas in which it is especially important include implant surgery, endodontic therapy, crown fitting, patient education, detection of foreign matter in soft tissue, placement of restorations, and others. In contrast, procedures are interrupted with waiting for film development with conventional radiography.
Once conventional radiography images are developed, they cannot be manipulated, which poses a big disadvantage. On the other hand, digital radiography software allows us to adjust the contrast so that the image is not too dark or too light. We are also able to enlarge the entire image or specific areas, use color enhancements, and superimpose different textures to isolate problem areas. These capabilities not only work for our benefit in terms of diagnosis and treatment, they’re also invaluable for patient education.
More Efficient Data Storage
Conventional x-ray films take up a lot of space. Therefore, patients who’ve been with a dental office such as ours for quite some time may have a large number of films in a storage room. Managing this type of “data” is laborious and time-consuming. Not to mention, it can be frustrating when films are misplaced. However, retrieving digital data is easy and immediate using only a computer. Not only that, but the data is stored in a small space and is highly organized. All of this means that it is much less likely that information gets lost, and labor and time are saved by not having to pull individual documents manually.
Cleaner and More Convenient
Developing and fixing solutions are a big part of conventional radiography. Issues associated with stains and odors from these solutions are completely eliminated with digital radiography.
Easier Communication Between Practitioners
An extremely useful advantage of digital imaging is being able to send images electronically to other clinicians within seconds. This capability is not possible with conventional radiography.
With digital radiography, patients are exposed to 70%-80% less radiation, and sometimes even less. This is especially important with procedures requiring multiple images, such as challenging endodontic therapy or placement of implants.
Loss of Conventional Films Eliminated
It’s not uncommon for a critical conventional film to fall out of its holder and be permanently lost. However, this doesn’t happen with digital formats when backup procedures are adequately utilized.
Easy to Use
Digital radiography software is simple to use and easily mastered. Overall, digital technology is much easier, faster, and cleaner than conventional radiography.
At Weissman Dental, we believe in the power of cutting-edge technology in diagnosis, treatment, and patient education. That’s why we’re proud to offer digital radiography for its ease, convenience, and advanced capabilities. Feel free to give us a call at (503) 274-2222 to schedule an appointment.