Digital Radiography

Digital radiography is one of the greatest technological advancements when it comes to dental imaging. Digital radiography involves replacing a typical x-ray film with a digital camera that can send your oral images directly to a computer screen. As a result, digital radiography has several advantages that eliminate certain manual steps and make diagnosis much easier.

  • With traditional x-rays, a dentist would have to take the oral images on the film, then send them away for processing in a dark room. The entire process takes several minutes and requires the use of toxic chemicals. With digital x-rays, Dr. Justin E. Stout DMD can process the images digitally and send them immediately to computers. From there, we can send the soft copy to the dental lab or other dentists. This eliminates the need for a space for the darkroom and the use of harmful chemicals that are damaging to the environment.

  • Digital radiography also allows the creation of higher quality images with as much as 70 to 90 percent decreased radiation exposure. This means there is a very low danger of cancers and even pregnant women and young children can undergo these x-rays a few times without risk.

  • Digital dentistry also allows your dental images to become enhanced, enlarged, and to change color on the computer monitor, making it easier for us to pinpoint where the problem area lies.

  • With the help of additional software, digital radiography can help us compare current images with previous ones. This process is called subtraction radiography. Using the software, everything that is common between the two images is removed, leaving only the portion that is different. This can help us detect and identify even minute changes in your mouth.

Types of Digital Radiography

Here are some of the most common type of digital radiography used in the field of dentistry:

  • Intraoral x-ray sensors: these x-rays are a replacement for film x-rays. As compared to traditional bitewing x-rays and FMX, these sensors capture the images of your mouth faster. They also offer far better image quality while producing less radiation.

  • Digital panoramic x-rays: A digital panoramic x-ray is created to capture a full 360 view of a patient’s mouth in a series of images that are joined to form a single panoramic image.

  • Dental cone beam systems: Dental cone beam systems are most often used when a person needs a dental implant procedure. However, since they offer powerful 3-dimensional images, the system can also bring revolutionary changes to endodontics, orthodontics, and a range of other dental fields.

  • Phosphor plate x-ray systems: Intraoral phosphor plate x-rays are very effective in converting existing traditional film-based x-rays into a digital format. These images can then be seen digitally into a computer. Once the job is done, the system wipes the slate clean for the next x-ray scan.

Digital radiography provides a faster, safer, and more convenient alternative to traditional x-rays. If you have dental problems and would like to benefit from the use of digital radiography, call us at (805) 306-0200 to schedule an appointment with us.


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