We recently added a digital x-ray system to our office. It has been a very welcome addition. With it, we bought a computer for each treatment room. We are now able to take the x-rays and blow them up to the size of the computer screen. No more squinting through a magnifying glass to search for little cavities. The images can also be rotated or enhanced. The images’s contrast can be sharpened to make previously undetected cavities jump out on the screen. With the larger images on the screen, it is much easier to explain to the patient about the need for a particular dental treatment. Although the pages are stored digitally and backed up regularly, we still print a “hard copy”. Having that copy in hand has saved us during times when the server was down. With the x-rays stored on the server, they can be viewed at the touch of a button. They can also be emailed to specialists or to insurance companies. Technology allows life to keep getting easier.
We finally added digital x-rays to our office. It was a big expense but it was well worth it. Digital x-rays have been available for a number of years, however, the quality didn’t come close to film. With the recent advances in technology, the number of megapixels available now can match good quality x-ray film. There are two types of digital x-rays. One system uses a phosphor plate in place of the film, the other uses a direct sensor just like the light sensor in your digital camera. The phosphor plate must be sent through a scanner which is then processed by a computer which inherently causes a delay in viewing the resulting radiograph. The sensor type provides almost instantaneous feedback due to to it’s direct connection to the computer, however, the sensor is quite bulky and can be uncomfortable. We chose the phosphor plate system due to it’s sensor (it’s thinner than regular x-ray film) for the ultimate comfort for our patients. The radiation dosage that is needed to obtain good radiographs is less than that of film and there is no messy chemicals to fool with during processing.