As with any industry, technology in the dental field advances quickly. These advancements provide numerous benefits for both doctors and patients. One piece of technology that has changed over the years is the x-ray. Invented in 1895, x-rays are used to see the internal structure of an object, or in our case, the inside of your teeth, gums, and jaw. For years, we used the traditional analog x-ray machines. However, we recently made the switch to digital x-ray machines.
Digital x-rays offer many benefits and fewer concerns. The biggest differences between this new technology and the old include:
- Less Radiation: We understand your concerns when it comes to x-rays… They get a bad reputation for their radiation levels and health concerns. While radiation is inevitable due to the technology used in x-rays, digital x-rays have far lower levels compared to the traditional analog x-rays. On average, it’s 70% lower! “The main advantage digital x-rays have over analog x-rays is their reduced radiation exposure to the patient and dentist while still providing amazing detail of the teeth and bone for accurate diagnoses,” Dr. Brunacini shared. “Although we take all the necessary precautions for protection, lower radiation levels are safer for everyone.”
- Comfort: Remember those bitewings you had to bite down on to take an x-ray of your back teeth? We know—it was painful! Digital x-rays just require the use of a sensor placed inside your mouth that is moved after each image is taken.
- Environmentally Friendly: With the use of the sensor, digital x-rays remove the need for multiple pieces of film that just end up in the trash. Additionally, it alleviates the need for chemicals to develop the images, meaning less impact on the environment.
- Ease of Use: Traditional x-rays required lengthy processing time, careful interpretation, and specific storage. Using a digital x-ray, images are stored directly onto a local drive and can be accessed immediately following the capture of the picture.
- Quality: The digital x-ray saves time and helps us make a more accurate diagnosis. As Dr. Brunacini states, “Digital x-rays allow us to examine them on a computer screen, which means they can be viewed on a large screen and with varying contrast for easier visibility.” Since the images are digital, we can resize them without losing the important details that used to get lost with an analog x-ray. For patients, these images are much easier to view and understand.
We recommend having x-rays taken once a year at your hygiene appointment. Comparing your teeth from year to year can help us catch any issues before they get too serious. When were your last x-rays taken? Give us a ring at (207) 781-5900 to check in and discuss adding digital x-rays to your next appointment.