Dental radiography has evolved from film and chemical developers into a highly technical process that involves various types of digital x-ray machines, as well as powerful dental software programs to assist the dentist with image acquisition and diagnostic analysis of the acquired images. When making the decision to purchase x-ray equipment, the doctor needs to research the available options thoroughly, in order to make an informed choice for the “right” machine for his or her practice.
Dental X-rays are one of the most important part of your regular dental treatment. Your dentist uses the specialized imaging technology to look for hidden tooth decay – also called cavities – and can show dental issues such as abscessed teeth, dental tumors, and cysts.
Additionally, your dental X-rays allow your dentist to see the condition of prior dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, and bridges. And, too, your dentist will be able to look for possible bone loss as a result of periodontal gum disease and find hidden tartar build up.
Your dentist or the dental tech inputs the command for the portable dental x rays unit to send a X-ray through your teeth and into the sensor, effectively taking a photo of your tooth or teeth. The sensor captures the resulting image and sends it through the wire to the computer. Then your dentist will reposition the sensor and take additional digital X-rays until all of your teeth have been X-rayed.
With digital dental X-rays, your dentist or other dental professional is able to immediately see your teeth and jaw bones. This means that assessment and diagnosis is virtually instantaneous.
Most of the earliest X-rays depended on photographic films to capture the images and make them readable. Digital detectors skip this step; rather than using light beamed through objects onto film, it allows for digital scanning and image interpretation. In terms of radiation the two are about the same initially, though digital versions typically have a shorter exposure time and as such tend to be more efficient.