Arguably one of the most important diagnostic tools in dentistry, digital x-rays are essential to ensure the very best dental care for patients of all ages and all stages of development. Depending on dental development, tooth decay, and the overall health of the mouth, dentists may recommend x-rays every six months to a year for children, and every one to two years for adults. In the presence of damage or decay, these x-rays may be recommended even more often. Because of this frequency, it’s important to provide patients with the safest, most comfortable x-rays possible. Thanks to our cutting-edge technology, our patients are excited about visiting their Austin dentist. This is why we at Augustine Dental offer modern digital x-rays for our patients, which provide many benefits over their conventional counterparts.
This practice is beyond highly recommend. I hate dentists and couldn’t imagine giving a 5 star review for one. However, Dr. Augustine is amazing and sweet and knowledgeable. But that being said this is the best and only dental practice I have had such a great experience with. From the front office Charlotte, to the dental assisting with the lovely Carlene and the cleanings with Lisa or Jennifer I can say this place is legit. – Renee E., Austin, TX
Why Does a Dentist Use Digital X-Rays?
One of the reasons that x-rays are so valuable to dentists is because they help your doctor see things invisible to the naked eye during an examination of your mouth. The ability to see inside, below and in-between teeth enables dentists to make early diagnoses and to prevent a problem from becoming worse. In addition, dentists can use x-rays to evaluate the jawbones, check for infections, and monitor even very small amounts of tooth decay.
Traditional X-Rays vs. Digital X-Rays
There are many differences between conventional and digital x-rays. We are excited to be a dentist in Austin that offers this state-of-the-art technology to our patients. Thanks to technological advancements over the past several decades, these differences make the digital imaging method far superior in the dentist’s office with regards to patient comfort, safety, and convenience.
Unlike conventional x-rays, digital x-rays do not involve the development of any film. Chemical processing of conventional film takes time, and also generates an image that can be difficult to share (i.e. for referrals or insurance claims) when compared to digital files. On the other hand, in digital x-rays, the images are sent via a small cord to a computer in real-time as the dentist completes their examination. Because of this, the dentist can review the x-rays much faster (within just seconds), allowing for quicker diagnoses, faster exams, and more prompt treatment. Dentists can also use these images as a tool during the exam to help patients understand their oral health better, which is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile.
Image Processing & Quality
Thanks to the method of capture in digital x-rays, the dentist has better processing capabilities including image sizing, contrast, enhancement, and a wider array of shades that improve their ability to make prompt and accurate diagnoses. Larger images enable a dentist to discover smaller cavities or other problems, and image enhancement can lead to more accurate and earlier diagnoses. Digitally-stored files also make it easier for the dentist to make side-by-side comparisons of dental x-rays over time, which allows for the detection of even minuscule changes.
When compared to conventional x-rays, digital x-rays cut the amount of radiation exposure by anywhere from 70-90 percent. In fact, the amount of radiation from a modern dental x-ray is approximately the same as the amount of background radiation received in one day or the amount incurred during a 2-hour airplane flight.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe?
Yes. As stated above, digital x-rays only expose patients to a very small fraction of radiation when compared to conventional x-rays, and the risk of this exposure is far outweighed by the benefits of routine dental imaging. Patients are far more at-risk from the unchecked development of cavities that are invisible to the naked eye, along with other problems such as dental infections and abscesses, changes in the bone, tumors, issues with the jaw, and more.
At Augustine Dental, we are committed to the safety and comfort of our patients. We are proud to be a dentist in Austin who will discuss the risks and benefits of digital x-ray imaging, as well as explain x-ray frequency and safety with each and every one of our patients. And while digital x-rays are an important part of a comprehensive dental exam, we also work to ensure that any imaging is necessary and requisite to guarantee that we are delivering the best care possible to each patient as an individual.