New Technology / Digital Radiography
One of the most diagnostic tools available to any dental practice over the past century has been the dental x-ray. It allows the dentist to see inside your teeth and bone to make an accurate diagnosis and to determine precise and appropriate treatment. However, certain aspects about dental x-rays taken on paper film were not always beneficial. Taking an x-ray meant a) exposing a patient to significant radiation, b) developing the x-ray film produced toxic chemical waste, and c) processing film took a significant amount of time. In addition to those immediate dental treatment limitations, film did not age well, was bulky to store in a dental record, required a darkroom with wet tank or bulky film processor to develop, and quite often the film was scratched or blemished during development. Dentists worldwide could attest to these problems, but until very recently, this was the status quo.
With the advent of dental computer technology, a totally new concept in x-ray science has emerged, providing a welcome upgrade to the drawbacks, limitations complications and hazards of paper film. This technology is known as Digital Radiography, and we have introduced this marvel of modern dentistry here at Fitzpatrick DMD.
Simple and Fast, our advanced Digital Radiography System allows the dentist to select an individual tooth, bitewing or full mouth series at the click of a button. Instead of film, the dentist places an X-Ray Sensor in the oral cavity. Almost instantly after exposing the sensor to a minimal quanta of radiation, a high-quality X-ray image appears on screen, ready for diagnosis. The entire process takes seconds compared to minutes with film. You can archive and retrieve your digital radiographs in seconds or transmit them via email with the click of a mouse.
The X-Ray sensors we use are the thinnest available, measuring only 3.2 mm thick. They are easy to manipulate and to place in the patient's mouth. They can be positioned as easily as film with minimal discomfort to patients. Just position the sensor, irradiate with the X-ray source and in virtually seconds a high quality digital image will appear on the computer screen. Digital Radiography makes possible numerous special functions such as calibrated length measurements, image enhancement tools, digital zoom, colorizing, archiving, and before-and-after image comparison which provides the dental profession an incredibly useful dimension never possible before with paper film.
The X-Ray sensors create high resolution images up to about 2 million pixels, allowing a precise, high “zoom-in” factor. Cleaner crisper and more precise quality X-rays images are a reality. Adjustments like contrast and brightness further enhance diagnostic accuracy. The ability to show large, up to lOX size digital images on a computer screen is also highly valued among many dentists.
There is nothing more unproductive than to have unsatisfactory results with film especially after all the time, effort and materials that go into taking conventional radiographs. No more retakes, time-consuming processing, chemicals, mounting, labeling and waiting. Digital x-rays enable you to take perfect radiographs every time in seconds. The time saving means more patient treatment, higher productivity and less frustration. The system brings more convenience into the dental office and advances the standard of care, a “win-win’ for both dentist and patient.
Perhaps the largest benefit for patients is the dramatically reduced amount of radiation exposure required for imaging. Research over the years has determined that radiation is cumulative and Digital Radiography addresses that concern by requiring up to 90% less radiation than conventional X-ray film. When translated into real terms, 90 digital x-rays equal the radiation exposure of just one old style conventional paper film x-ray! This is a huge reduction and a great benefit to the patient. This is why Digital Radiography has been labeled as “patient friendly”. Digital Radiography is also “environmentally friendly”. Toxic chemicals are no longer needed to process the paper film x-ray, chemicals which required special waste disposal in order not to contaminate our streams and reservoirs. And one final benefit………patients can now see their films on a large screen which allows the doctor to “show and tell” the diagnosis. Our patients can now interact and benefit from this fabulous educational tool by participating in their own treatment plan.
Digital Radiography………a milestone advance in the practice of dentistry…….. is here at Fitzpatrick DMD.