Modern dental technology has advanced dramatically in the last few decades and reduced or eliminated a lot of the risks from old practices and technology. One of the most revered advancements is digital dental x-ray machines. Invented in 1990, digital radiology uses an electronic sensor to capture high-quality images of the mouth and teeth, as opposed to the traditional (and harmful) x-ray film, which exposes people to high amounts of ionizing radiation.
What Are X-Rays?
X-rays are an important part of dentistry, showing flaws and damage in the mouth and teeth, even if they’re invisible to the naked eye or not seen to the fullest extent. It allows dentists too, not only treat pre-existing oral health issues (such as gum disease and cavities) but also to prevent serious damage by treating other issues before they are too severe. Original dental x-ray machines required various forms of sensors to be physically placed inside the patient’s mouth. Digital dental x-rays eliminate this completely.
Panoramic dental x-rays are one of the most common forms of x-rays because they give a thorough view of the mouth. A panoramic dental x-ray shows a single, 2D image of the teeth, the upper and lower jaw, the nasal area and sinuses, and the TMJ joints. This type of x-ray isn’t used to locate cavities, rather, more serious oral health conditions such as tooth fractures, infections, cysts, and tumors.
Child Dental X-Ray
Young children require regular dental check-ups in order to address anything that needs to be corrected before they grow old and it becomes a more serious problem. However, children are also at a higher risk of being damaged by radiation. Thankfully, child dental x-rays are now used by the majority dentistry practices in the country and, as we mentioned earlier, emit much lower levels of radiation than their outdated film counterparts.
Despite the clear benefits of digital and 3D dental x-rays, the high costs of equipment make a high number of dentistry offices reluctant to implement the new technology. However, after the initial set of machinery is purchased, dentists and clients alike will overall be spending less on the dental x-rays.
Concern about the amount of radiation for standard film x-rays has always been a topic of concern, but digital dental x-rays reduce that amount of radiation of up to 90 percent.
With digital dental x-ray machines, the image can be viewed instantly as well as be enhanced, edited, and shared, as need be. This allows a dentist to immediately identify any imperfections and even explain them to the patient right then and there. They can also easily share the image with other doctors and dentists, if it requires multiple opinions or a transfer of departments. These immediate results save everyone a lot of time and effort.
One of the most modern digital x-ray machines we use at Cottonwood Dental is the Green CT2. Its advanced imaging system creates high-quality and accurate images, with significantly lower levels of radiation. The diagnostic images appear within a matter of seconds, and a 3D scanning feature gives dental professionals the capability to create digital re-creations of the mouth. Although this model is more expensive than its counterparts, it’s impressive power and complexity are worth it.
Digital dental x-rays also have an eco-friendly benefit. Because the images taken are stored online, the x-ray film that was previously taken won’t have to be disposed of. That type of film contains many harmful chemical pollutants that damage our environment and ecosystem.
All in all, digital dental x-ray machines are safer and more comfortable, efficient, and cost-effective. At Cottonwood Dental, all of our technology is up to date, including our dental x-ray machines. To schedule an appointment, call (505) 210-7884 today!