Prescott Valley, AZ
Regular dental exams are important to maintain good dental health. Dental treatments are continuously improving and even dental exams are safer, more convenient, and more comfortable than before. Technological advancement in the field of dentistry has enabled experts to deliver incredibly accurate images through digital radiography. Radiography is not new to dentistry. For a long time, x-rays have been used as a tool to spot dental problems. While they are effective, a traditional x-ray image cannot show what digital radiography images can. Because of this, digital radiography has increasingly replaced conventional methods for diagnosing dental issues. Bradshaw Family Dental offers digital radiography for both children and adults.
Digital radiography is the modern version of traditional radiography which used film packets held between the teeth to produce x-ray images. This film had to then be taken to a dark room, where they would be developed. With shuffling the film back and forth and leaving the patient in the dental exam chair, it made office staff less efficient and appointments much longer. Digital radiography images are far more detailed and offer greater clarity than the film of the traditional x-rays. We utilize digital radiography as part of our routine dental exam to screen for potential health risks.
Importance of Digital Radiography
Dental radiography enables our team to gather images of your teeth, gums, and jaw, which are then used to detect and identify problems. Typically, digital radiography is part of your annual dental exam. In some cases, our dental professionals will request additional images as a follow up after a treatment, or if an unexpected issue develops prior to your next appointment. Digital radiography is excellent for monitoring the advancement of a child’s teeth as the permanent teeth grow in.
The Process For Digital Radiography
Digital radiography is similar to traditional x-rays, but the results are quite different. The physical process involved in digital radiography is nearly identical to that of traditional dental x-rays. The technique uses x-ray plates to capture an image that is instantly prepared. The data captured during the examination of the object is directly transferred to the computer.
Images produced through digital radiography can be obtained via three methods: direct, indirect, or semi-direct. When using the direct method, a sensor is placed in the mouth and images are recorded. The radiation produced by the x-ray is converted into an electric charge and, subsequently, into a digital image via the sensor detector. The indirect method scans traditional x-ray films to be viewed as digital images. In the semi-direct technique, both a scanner and sensor are used to turn traditional x-rays into digital images.
What is Digital Radiography Used For?
Digital radiography is used for monitoring of ongoing dental treatment as well as early detection of tooth erosion and gum disease. It offers such clarity our staff is able to offer a variety of treatment plans not available prior to the inception of this dental technology. Early detection of numerous tooth and gum problems can be identified quickly and easily before they progress to more severe stages.
Digital radiography can identify issues or concerns with both hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. These include teeth, gums, tongue, and throat. Taking digital impressions is common before installing dental implants, so the dentist can get a good look at your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Digital radiography also provides images to monitor the progress of impacted teeth. This is especially important with wisdom teeth which are known to protrude through the gums and misalign the patient’s tooth alignment. Digital radiography is also used in identifying cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease which can lead to other serious health problems not limited to just the mouth.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Radiography?
Digital radiography offers several significant advantages. The major point to be noted is that the image is generated almost instantly. Unlike traditional procedures that involved longer duration in developing the x-ray films, time is saved with digital radiography. Digital radiography has also made office workflow and staff members far more efficient by allowing remote viewing and streamlined processing. They also show a far more accurate image of the teeth. The images are available chairside, so patients are able to view the x-rays with our staff to go over what they revealed.
The level of radiation exposure is also significantly reduced compared to that emitted by traditional x-rays. This makes it safe for children as well as adults. It uses a much lower dose of radiation to produce the images which make it safer for patients. Another patient safety benefit is not needing harsh and potentially poisonous development chemicals to produce images as traditional imagery systems do.
Another benefit associated with digital radiography is that the results are portable so they can easily be shared when necessary. Because the digital radiography x-ray images are stored digitally, they can be kept on computers rather than in file cabinet drawers like traditional x-rays. This allows practices to not only access a patient’s dental imagery but send them quickly and efficiently if a specialist needs to be involved in a patient’s care. It not only saves space at practices by not needing a separate darkroom for processing, but it also diminishes the need for rows of filing cabinets to store the developed x-rays.
Finally, the duration of a dental appointment is made shorter. Digital radiography offers a more complete picture of your oral health. Our team can provide immediate feedback and recommend appropriate treatments to get you on the road to better oral health as quickly as possible. Hence, the overall efficiency is enhanced by the digital radiographic system. Digitally produced dental x-rays are also environmentally friendly.
Does Digital Radiography Have Disadvantages?
One big drawback, particularly for smaller practices, is the cost. Digital radiography equipment is far more expensive than that of the traditional x-ray. While it does provide incredible clarity, practices need to be fiscally responsible to their patients.
Schedule Your Appointment in Prescott Valley, AZ
Digital radiography has become increasingly important in regular dental check-ups and the diagnosis of dental problems and is just one of the latest technologies we use at Bradshaw Family Dental in Prescott Valley. Our team is happy to provide a wholesome experience when it comes to your dental health. Contact us at (928) 277-0076 to schedule an appointment today. We can answer any digital radiography questions or general dental hygiene questions as well as schedule your next office visit.