Of all the technological advances in dentistry over the years, the advent and adoption of digital x-rays may be the most significant. Digital x-rays have changed the way we practice dentistry; they allow us to provide dental care more efficiently and with reduced exposure times.
Speed of care
While it still takes the same amount of time to prepare a crown or fabricate a temporary crown, the use of digital x-rays does reduce the overall time our patients have to spend in the chair. In the past, we had to wait 3-5 minutes for an x-ray to be processed; with digital x-rays, the image appears instantly for us to read and evaluate. In a procedure where multiple films may be needed (such as with a root canal or an extraction), the time can add up.
We understand that the thought of taking x-rays can provoke anxiety. Fortunately, digital x-rays reduce radiation risk significantly because the exposure time is much lower compared to traditional films. Even with digital x-ray technology, we still try to minimize the number of x-rays that we take, and we only take films when necessary. It’s also important to note that some people require more x-rays than other people, such as people with a higher cavity rate, a dry mouth, or a history of significant dental treatment in the past with multiple crowns and other restorations.