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The following is a list of advantages of the Digital Radiography (DR) as compared with conventional films.
Please keep in mind that each one benefits you (the patient) in some way.
1) There is no need to use an automatic processor as was required with conventional film. Unlike DR, an automatic processor requires that chemicals be used. This translates into fewer chemicals that need to be discarded which in turn benefits the environment.
2) The actual process of taking the image and then viewing it is less time consuming. With DR, especially CCD (please see the last blog), the images are loaded instantaneously onto the computer monitor. Less time is spent waiting around to show the patient their images.
3) Less radiation exposure to the patient. This is quite significant and the patients are thrilled about this. Generally, the radiation exposure for one DR film is equal to about three to four films of the conventional x-ray system. However, even though there is less radiation, we continue to use a lead apron and thyroid collar to protect other areas from exposure.
4) DR represents technological advancement; it’s modern and state of the art. It shows that the dentist has kept up with the times. I think that every patient wants to know that their dentist is current.
5) There is an enhanced diagnostic accuracy with DR as compared with conventional film. The images are clearer and larger. They can be enhanced by zooming in and changing the contrast and brightness.
6) In many instances, a dentist may need to send the x-ray images of a patient to another dentist. This may be to a specialist I.e. Endodontist (root canal specialist), Oral Surgeon (wisdom teeth images). A dentist may also wish to send an image to another dentist for a second opinion. With DR, we can email the image instantly as opposed to traditional snail mail which can take several days.
7) The DR images that are produced on the computer monitor are a great visual and educational tool for the patient. The images show up quite large which makes it easy to point out such entities as decay (cavities), an abscess or an infection, loss or change in bone density and periodontal disease. DR images help to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
I hope this blog has convinced you that Digital Radiography is both beneficial to the patient and dental team (dentist, dental hygienist and assistant and receptionist).
Any way in which we can educate the patient is considered a big plus.
Yours in good dental health,
Dr. Robert Axelrad, Brampton Dentist