Like a number of other industries, the world of dentistry has greatly benefited from the introduction of digital processes. It has effectively opened new doors for improvements in patient care. At Atlantic Dentistry we include digital radiography as one of these digital improvements. Understanding how digital radiography is integrated into patient care, and how it can offer benefits, is an important part of knowing just how we value our patients.
Radiography, also sometimes just referred to as x-rays, is the starting point for the diagnosing or screening for a wide variety of dental problems. It is a non-invasive way to get a below-the-surface look at your teeth and gums. It is relatively harmless, and it can quickly produce the images that our dentist needs to diagnose your concerns effectively.
Traditional radiography has been in use for decades, making use of film to capture images of your mouth and teeth. The introduction of computer technology has paved the way for digital radiography.
Digital Radiography Basics
Computer-aided dentistry allows for the streamlining of countless processes. It removes a number of previous manual steps that are now able to be automated. Digital radiography offers a number of improvements over traditional x-rays. Traditional radiography is considered to be largely safe. However, digital radiography produces up to 80% less radiation than its traditional counterpart.
Digital solutions allow for limitless storage of records, which allows our dentist to keep on hand each image taken of your teeth and gums. This is particularly useful when it comes to monitoring the progress of a treatment.
Results are available immediately, with the added perk of being able to readily resize images. This allows our dentist to gain a better view of potential issues that may be quite small, all without the distortion or degradation of the image quality. This has, in turn, led to the earlier detection of a number of dental diseases. Including earlier identification of cavities and even oral cancers. Early detection allows for improved prognosis for the patient.
How Are Digital Images Captured?
One of the best aspects of digital radiography is that it makes taking both intraoral and extraoral x-rays incredibly easy for both the dental professional and the patient. Intraoral images are captured using what are known as bitewings. The patient bites down on this small device, which is essentially film. These types of digital images are used to detect any type of decay that may be hidden between teeth. It can also record bone density changes, as well as help our dentist to determine the right fit of crowns and other restorations.
Extraoral images are captured with a panoramic machine that rotates around the head, to show the entire mouth in one image. This is used to detect issues with the jaw, identify impacted wisdom teeth, and plan dental implant treatments.
There are a great number of benefits to dental digital radiography, with almost no downsides to the integration of this digital technology. Specialized training is important to ensure that dental professionals are able to maximize the benefits of this great step forward in dental care.
Safety Considerations With Digital Radiography
Radiation exposure is very low with digital radiography. That said, no patient should be exposed to more radiation than is absolutely needed. Lead aprons will be used to offer additional protection for patients. This is especially the case for children and pregnant women.
Schedule your next checkup or professional dental cleaning with us here at Atlantic Dentistry.
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13920 Old St Augustine Rd, Suite 103 Jacksonville, Fl 32258-5561