Having x-rays taken is just part of your regular dental appointment, right? After all, x-rays help the dentist identify trouble spots and potential cavities. However, just as technology in photography has changed dramatically over the past two decades, so has the technology surrounding dental x-rays evolved. Today, you’ll want a dentist that has digital dental x-ray equipment in their clinic.
What is a digital dental x-ray?
Similar to a how a digital camera works, digital x-ray equipment bypasses the film and the developing and captures the images of your teeth and jaw on a computer or smart card.
Dentists use x-rays for a number of things. X-rays help to find cavities and allow the dentist to check the health of the tooth root and the bone surrounding it. X-rays are also useful in monitoring the general health of your teeth and jaw.
Advantages of using digital dental x-rays
Why should you care if your dentist uses digital x-ray equipment or more traditional methods? Digital x-rays offer a number of benefits for patients:
- High definition. The high definition of digital vs. traditional x-rays make it easier for patients to read their own x-rays and for the dentist to illustrate what work needs to be done. The resolution of digital x-rays is much more precise and crisp than that of traditional x-rays. This allows for much more accurate diagnosis.
- Digital access. Since digital x-rays are stored electronically, making it easier and quick to access patient files. Better knowledge generally translates into better oral health and hygiene.
- No waiting. Unlike traditional x-rays, digital images are available in seconds after they are taken and can be printed out immediately. You don’t have to wait for the film to be developed.
- Lower radiation exposure. Digital x-rays also expose patients to a much lower amount of radiation than traditional x-ray equipment.
- Easily transferable. If you need to see a specialist or another doctor, your dental files from your primary dentist can be easily sent electronically to your new dentist, doctor or oral surgeon. You don’t have to hand-carry them and risk losing or damaging them. Plus, your new dentist will have a chance to review the x-rays before you arrive for your appointment.
For dentists, digital x-rays offer the advantage of being full-screen images that the technician or doctor can zoom in for better visibility. They also make it easier for the dentist’s office to submit insurance paperwork and allow the dentist to superimpose a new image over a previous one so he or she can spot any differences.
The next time you’re shopping for a dentist in Victoria, BC, make sure to ask prospective dentists whether they use digital dental x-rays. Such technology can make a big difference in the quality of care you receive and in your ability to help manage your own dental care.