One of the most important pieces of equipment in our office is the x-ray machine. We use x-rays to detect problems in your mouth that we can’t see with the naked eye. We detect, cavities between teeth or underneath fillings.
Conventional dental x-rays are wonderful, but they had a few drawbacks:
Sometimes we might not see a very tiny cavity or a cavity between your teeth.
The x-rays need some time and effort to take and develop.
The hygienist positions a hard cardboard film packet in your mouth to get the correct angle.
Conventional x-rays expose you to an amount of radiation that some might find unacceptable.
After the x-ray is taken, the hygienist needs a few minutes to develop the film.
The conventional x-ray tends to discolour with time, rendering them useless after a few years.
Although conventional x-rays are just as valuable today as they were yesterday, many dentists are adopting new technologies. In the early 1980s, some dentists began replacing their conventional x-rays with digital x-ray technology, much like you may have replaced your 35mm camera with a digital camera.
The benefits to our patients when using digital x-rays are:
We can detect cavities and other problems much earlier, and use preventative measures in treating the tooth.
- When using a digital x-ray, we place a small, flat plastic pad in your mouth, press a button and—presto—in a few seconds a picture of your teeth displays on a computer screen.
- Digital X-rays use a small plastic sensor that is easier and faster to a position. It takes only seconds to re-take an x-ray—if necessary.
- According to the Clinical Research Associates Foundation, digital technology produces sharp images, allowing us to see much greater detail.
- We can instantly enhance the picture quality and magnify the picture with just a click of the computer mouse.