Technology changes at a fast pace and has provided the medical field with benefits in the form of improved patient experience and more precise diagnosis. Included in medical care, the dental field is rapidly moving to embrace technologies that allow dentists to spot problems early and provide more efficient treatment. Advances in dental radiography or X-rays, and additional varieties of dental imaging show just how much technology has changed in dental care.
Digital vs. Film X-Rays—Does it Matter which my Dentist Uses?
X-rays are a part of most routine dental visits and are essential during your first visit at a new office. During your checkup, your dentist takes these diagnostic images to more closely examine the state of your smile, picking out areas that require attention. Several oral health issues that are not apparent during a visual examination of your teeth, such as hidden cavities, appear in the x-ray. As part of the prevention process, clear X-ray images support conservative and early treatment. X-ray technology at many dental practices is now digital, compared to the standard film variety you may have experienced at dental visits years ago.
Digital x-ray imaging offers increased safety
in contrast to traditional imaging. This equipment uses less radiation than its predecessor, helping to limit accumulated exposure over your lifetime. The speed at which digital X-rays images are taken and processed also allows for more efficient dental appointments. Waiting for film X-rays to develop and wearing protective lead aprons are things of the past with digital technology. Any images taken digitally appear in seconds on screens in the operatory.
This technology also allows for manipulation on large, clear screens. If the dentist wants to educate patients by presenting evidence of decay on a tooth, they can easily enlarge the image to demonstrate the problem. This method supports overlaying of images as well. Your dentist can layer past dental x-rays with a few clicks of the mouse to track any changes that have occurred with time.Digital images can be sent wherever they need to be in a matter of moments
. In cases where a second opinion is needed from a specialist, a digital image may be quickly emailed. While film X-rays are still effective in the treatment planning process and utilized by dentists, digital X-rays provide clear benefits to both the doctor and patient.
Intra-Oral Cameras for Patient Education
As dentists embrace additional new technologies, the use of intraoral cameras has become more prevalent. This digital device takes pictures of the inside of your mouth and allow dentist to easily show the patient problem areas from their point of view while cleaning and restoring teeth. With the ability to see through a dentist’s eyes from the exam chair, the effects of dental habits become clear. This helps patients visualize areas in their smile that might be missed during regular brushing and flossing and promotes understand of how they can keep their smiles healthier in the future.
Ask Us about Digital Dentistry!
Dr. Castro ensures his practice is up-to-date to support better patient health and strong smiles well into the future. If you have questions about digital X-rays and intra-oral cameras, contact our office. To see this technology in action, schedule your next teeth cleaning at our office.