Digital imaging involves the use of a radiography machine, like those that are used to create dental radiographs made with traditional film. When the digital radiograph is exposed, the image is transmitted to an imaging plate, and it is then scanned. Unlike conventional film that may take between three and five minutes to process, a digital radiographic image can be viewed quickly on a computer monitor.
With digital radiographic images, technical errors often can be corrected to provide an optimal radiograph without having to make another exposure. We can use magnification to enhance specific problem areas of a tooth, as well as alter brightness and contrast in the image. Viewing an enhanced dental radiograph on a computer screen can help see a problem area much more easily than looking at a film image.
Our office also can print , copy, or email digital radiographs. Because the images are stored on a computer, they can easily be compared with future dental radiographs to see if and how conditions have changed.
Digital radiographs eliminate the need for film and film processing chemicals that generate waste. Special light boxes to view the traditional radiographic films also are no longer needed.
Dental radiographic examinations require exposure to very low levels of radiation (considerably less than traditional film radiographs).
Many diseases of the oral cavity (which includes the teeth, surrounding tissues and bone) cannot be seen when Dr. Boudreau examines a patient’s mouth. A radiographic examination may help see:
– small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings);
– bone destruction from a tooth infection (for example, an abscess) or a cyst;
– bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease;
– developmental abnormalities;
– some types of tumors;
– the effects of trauma;
– the position of unerupted teeth in children and adults.