Saturday, January 28, 2012

Digital Dentist

Advantages of Digital Dental Radiography

            Well, our office has been using the digital radiography since September of 2009 and I thought this topic might be good one for a blog post.
For sure, not having to develop film saves a lot of time every day and my patients almost universally approve of my upgrade to digital radiography. They like being able to easily view images of their teeth and are happy when they hear that the images are achieved with much lower radiation settings. This is the most obvious advantage of digital radiography; Patients receive a much lower dose of radiation(90% less) than they would from the use of traditional X ray films. I find I can produce usable images with a Tenth of the radiation that I used to produce film images.

Another feature of digital radiography is their ability to easily produce enlarged images of the teeth. In the last year I have found that found that showing enlarged images of their teeth to patients makes it much easier for them to understand my treatment recommendations and the digital enhancement features of my software program (Vatech) I use can help with the visualization of problems.

I also appreciate of the ease of emailing these images to specialists. I am able to get almost "instant second opinions" for my patients. Almost every day I send a radiograph to either my endodontist, prosthodontist or oral surgeon, in order to get their input for one of my patients. This is a great service since not only do my patients not have to pay an additional fee for the consultation, but prior to this I would have mailed their film to the specialist and I would have waited several days for the feedback.

Although I must confess that I sometimes miss the "richness" old fashioned film produced images, there is no going back for me. The advantages of digitally produced dental images far out way any disadvantages and I am fully committed to this new digital age!

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