We are well aware of the face that there are a lot of reasons that people don’t like visiting the dentist. One of the most awkward and uncomfortable parts of a visit used to be getting an x-ray. You had to resist squirming while chomping down on a weird piece of plastic and wearing lead, which many people found difficult. And depending on the technology available at your dentist’s office, you might then have to wait a good amount of time before actually seeing the results.
But dental technology has progressed, and South Florida Dental has made sure to keep up with it. One of the biggest innovations we’ve made in dental technology is offering digital radiography – basically a digital x-ray. This new way of taking x-rays provides benefits for patients, dentists – even the environment!
How Does Digital Imaging Work?
There’s a reason dentists put their patients through the discomfort of traditional x-rays: no matter what format it comes in, x-rays are extremely important for dental health. They tell us a lot more about our teeth than what dentists can see with the naked eye.
The following can be revealed by a dental x-ray:
- Areas of decay between teeth or below fillings
- Bone infections
- Periodontal disease
- Developmental abnormalities
- Some types of tumors
But just because traditional x-rays may be “worth it” doesn’t mean you need to suffer through them. With our modern systems, we can take a digital x-ray of your mouth without you ever having to leave your dentist chair.
Here’s how digital x-rays work. You place a small sensor in your mouth. This sensor is connected to a computer, and can be moved around to capture images of different areas of your mouth. To capture those images, a dental professional holds the x-ray next to your face for a targeted shot.
Digital results can be produced in seconds. In no time, you and your dentist will be discussing options for keeping your teeth healthy and happy, and you’ll be on your way out the door!
Having such a quick and easy process is probably enough of a benefit for most people, but there are plenty of other reasons why digital imaging is better than traditional x-rays, including:
Less Radiation – Not only are digital x-rays more convenient and efficient, they are also a lot safer for patients and dentists working with the technology. Traditional x-rays emit radiation. Those x-rays weren’t extremely dangerous, but dentists weren’t making you wear that lead vest for fun. And it’s completely understandable why they made so many people uncomfortable.
Today’s digital x-rays have almost entirely eliminated the amount of radiation that is emitted. Radiation levels from digital imaging are up to 80% lower than levels from traditional x-rays.
Less Discomfort – The preparation and process of getting a traditional x-ray is enough to make some people hesitate on booking their next dentist appointment. Biting down on a mold and wearing a heavy lead vest can cause a lot of discomfort, especially when you are also trying to stay still.
We Can See More – While they are still extremely helpful, traditional images can only tell dentists so much about a patient’s teeth. Digital images expand our possibilities for identifying and examining different areas of the teeth. Now, we can zoom, resize, or adjust images while still maintaining a high quality to get a good look at smaller areas of concern.
Less Wait Time – After a traditional x-ray, there was always an awkward period of waiting in the dentist’s office to see if your teeth were in good health. In some cases, you may have even had to head home without results and wait for a phone call or set up a second appointment. Digital imaging allows dentists to show patients their x-rays in a matter of seconds, and makes for a quicker visit overall.
More Environmentally Friendly – While reducing our carbon footprint doesn’t directly translate to dental health or your safety, it still presents a nice benefit of using digital images over traditional film and the chemicals that are required to produce the image. At South Florida Dental, we know that many of our clients care just as much about being good environmental stewards as they do about their personal health, so this was just one more reason for us to switch over to digital radiography.
The dental professionals at South Florida Dental Care are always on the lookout for innovative, progressive dental technology that will benefit our patients. To learn about other advancements that have been made over the last few decades, get in touch and set up a free consultation.