A key factor of successful oral surgery is a clear and accurate view of what’s going on inside the patient’s mouth. Whether you’ve come in for bleeding gums or persistent bad breath, your periodontist will need the ability to look further into the problem. X-ray (or radiograph) technology has been used for years to give dental professionals a glimpse into the inner workings of their patients’ teeth and gums.
X-rays allow periodontists and dentists to discover hidden conditions at a very early stage. Some of these conditions include gum disease, tooth decay, and even abnormal growths. When caught early, these issues are easier and less costly to treat than their more advanced stages.
Digital x-ray technology is a relatively recent development in the field of dental radiology, and has transformed the process of taking accurate images of patients’ mouths.
Traditional x-rays require a special type of x-ray film and chemical processing in order to be visible. This can be expensive for a periodontal facility to maintain, and can mean a long wait for the patient. Digital x-rays, however, solve those problems and present additional benefits for both periodontists and patients.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography
CBCT, or “Cone Beam Computed Tomography” further aids periodontists by providing highly-accurate 3-D imaging. This technique presents similar benefits to traditional x-rays in terms of radiation levels, and consists of X-ray computed tomography where the X-rays are digitally developed into a 3-dimensional image, significantly increasing readability and improving diagnosis accuracy.
Immediate, Non-chemical Processing
Digital x-rays can be taken and reviewed immediately, without the need for chemical processing. This relieves the anxiety of waiting for results, and removes an extra, expensive step of the process. Specialty Dental Care periodontists are able to see their patients’ dental situations, assess them, and discuss them in one short visit.
Traditional x-rays produce a physical, static image that cannot be altered to improve readability. Digital x-rays offer the ability to manipulate those images in a way that reveals more information about the patient. Images are often sharper, and can be enhanced through magnification and contrast adjustment. If previous x-rays were taken digitally, the periodontist can review both sets of x-rays side by side for an accurate comparison.
Lowered Radiation Risk
All x-rays (traditional and digital) require the use of small amounts of radiation. While the levels of radiation in traditional x-rays are small enough to be deemed safe for patients, exposure can still cause concern for some. Digital x-rays actually lower the radiation dosage by as much as 90% simply by reducing the amount of time needed to capture the images.
Simplified Storage and Sharing
Digital x-rays give periodontists the ability to share images with the click of a button. This can come in especially handy when collaborating with other medical or dental specialists, and can save days — if not weeks — in communication. Digital images also provide the benefit of digital storage, which can save space in periodontal facilities and make room for much needed equipment and room.
Patient Comfort and Convenience Is Our Priority
Here at Specialty Dental Care, we are grateful for the ability to supply our patients with a service that reduces wait times and radiation exposure while increasing comfort and peace of mind. If you are in the Omaha, Nebraska area and have questions or concerns about digital x-rays, we encourage you to contact us at our office.
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