One of the best things digital technology brought to the world of dentistry is the development of digital radiography (or digital X-rays). Introduced more than 25 years ago, digital sensors negated the need for traditional photographic film.

X-ray Benefits

While digital X-rays have not completely replaced photographic ones, more dentists and dental offices are making the switch. The Canadian Dental Association, for example, deems digital radiography “safe and low-risk.” Since dental X-rays will continue to be a requirement to protect the health of our teeth, using digital technology becomes a better option for dentists and patients alike.

Why are digital X-rays safer?

Digital X-rays use image receptors that are more sensitive to radiation than film. They require 70% less radiation than a conventional X-ray machine to produce a diagnostic image.

A 2015 study (Dental X-Rays and Risk of Meningioma) explored the possible correlation between conventional dental X-rays and the risk of intracranial meningioma, a common type of brain tumour. The study concluded that “exposure to dental X-rays performed in the past years, when radiation exposure was greater, appears to be associated with an increased risk of intracranial meningioma.” Researchers discovered those who had bitewing X-rays had twice the chance of developing a brain tumour. Those who had panoramic X-rays before age 10 had nearly five times the chance of a tumour.

X-ray Benefits

Why digital X-rays are better:

1. Imaging. With a digital system, information from radiographic images is collected easily and objectively, improves the diagnostic process.

2. Cost. Some dental clinics have not shifted to digital X-rays because of the high overhead. However, digital X-ray machines are less costly to maintain, which ultimately saves money.

3. Efficiency. Digital X-rays are immediately processed and available to view; film takes time to develop. Dentists can make a diagnosis and treatment plan more quickly.

4. Post-processing. Unlike conventional X-rays, post-processing techniques can be used to can be used to enhance digital images.

5. Large file size. Digital X-rays have higher resolutions so they can be magnified and manipulated to reveal additional features not seen in the initial image. Dentists require less time to spot hard-to-see cavities with a digital image.

X-ray Benefits

The Dental and Denture Office offers digital X-ray services for faster diagnosis of oral and dental disorders. To learn more about our clinic, call us at (905) 815-8208.