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Healthy Mouth Sounds- Digital Radiography

4.3.18 in General

Healthy Mouth Sounds- Digital Radiography


Oh, the beauty of imaging! This may be no more evident than in the digital radiograph.

Since the late 1800’s health care has been utilizing the x-ray beam to image parts of the body.

This science has been refined over the years yet, until advent of the “digital” era, many

limitations persisted.


There is still no one perfect imaging system however, digital radiographs provide some

advantages that we previously did not have.


First of all, because an x-ray beam exposes a digital sensor which is connected to a

computer, the resulting image is instantaneous. There is no development nor fixing of film. This saves time, and money and equipment. As a matter of fact, when we began using digital radiographs, I actually decreased my fees for radiographs, because there is an actual cost savings to me.


Secondly, a smaller dose of radiation can be used to achieve the same high quality image than with conventional film. We currently expose at one-half the amount of radiation compared to when we were using conventional x-ray film. And the new digital panoramic machines produce a full face image with less radiation exposure than a single intra-oral x-ray. Now that is progress that is worth it.


Thirdly, using the computer, we can alter the image, in order to enhance it. This includes changing contrast, and brightness, allowing us to visualize the information in multiple ways. This capability aides in diagnosis. Of course, there is also the capability to create 3-D images with some of the digital equipment (which we will address later this spring).


The digital world is all around us and can be very useful. Imaging in health care is just one benefactor. Next we will talk about how some of those virtual images are created as we discuss scanning and CAD-CAM technology.


So, stay tuned in and keep smiling. Dr. W.

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