In the 1980s, intraoral sensors were developed that could be used to take digital radiographic images in the dental office. It took another decade for the technology to become available to orthodontists who rely on a different type of image (extraoral) for diagnosis.
We are pleased to be able to provide digital radiographs (x-rays) for our patients because it provides many distinct advantages over conventional film radiography. Patient benefits include dose reduction, quicker image acquisition, ability to manipulate images, and improved storage.
Typically, radiation exposure can be reduced up to 50% by using digital sensors. The quality of digital images is greater than their film counterparts and images can be enhanced, resulting in improved diagnostic capability. In addition, image analysis tools that were not available in the past improve our ability to plan a patient’s treatment.
Digital radiographs are immediately available eliminating time consuming image processing. For the patient, this means improved efficiency and shorter appointments. With digital radiography, storage is safer and does not require as much space allowing dental offices to become more efficient and productive.
The use of digital radiographs also improves our collaboration with other dentists and specialists because high quality images can be easily sent. Moreover, while film requires the use and disposal of unsafe chemicals, digital radiography is much cleaner and better for the environment.