Similar to traditional dental radiographs, digital radiographs are used to take x-rays of a patient’s mouth to help the dentist diagnose and treat conditions that may go undetected by the naked eye.
Radiographic examinations help the dentist to detect:
- Cavities between teeth or below existing cavities
- Tooth infection (abscesses or cysts)
- Periodontal disease and tooth loss
- Unerupted teeth
- Abnormal tooth development
Digital radiographs make information much more accessible than traditional radiographs. This is mainly because the images are more easily viewed, stored, and can be obtained easily. In addition, because the size of the radiographic beam can be limited to the size of the sensor being used, the amount of radiation can be decreased.
how do digital radiographs work?
A small image receptor (electronic sensor) is placed in the mouth to obtain the image, and then it is sent to a computer processor where it is almost immediately viewable. Viewing the image digitally has the benefit of being able to magnify specific areas, correct errors without having to take another exposure ( which means the patient will have less exposure to radiation), easily store the information for future use (compare past and present x-rays), and limit radiation exposure.