Radiographs (Xrays) play a fundamental part in the diagnosis and monitoring of dental disease. We now routinely use digital radiography for Xray examination instead of the traditional wet film technique. This offers a number of important advantages:
- Digital radiography reduces patient radiation by about 70%.
- The digital images are available to the dentist in moments.
- The images are of a consistently high standard.
- Digital radiography avoids the inconsistency of chemical processing along with the associated disposal of hazardous wastes
- Digital images can be optimised on the computer and areas of concern can be highlighted and magnified as necessary. Copies can also be recorded on photo paper.
- Full screen images can be displayed on the chairside monitor enabling us to explain details of patients’ dental health and treatment plan options. This is a huge step forward from asking patients to squint at the traditional tiny films to demonstrate miniscule shadows. The ability to enhance and magnify an image is a tremendous benefit to the dentist and also to patients who are keen to understand more about their oral health.
Intra Oral Cameras
The introduction of high-resolution cameras enables us to show our patients any area of the mouth that may be of concern. This can be in video or stills mode and are displayed on the chairside monitors. These are excellent educational tools. The images can be stored digitally or as a photo print. The cameras have a number of benefits:
- To highlight cracked teeth and fillings, decay cavities and gum disease.
- To record soft tissue lesions on the tongue, palate, lips and cheeks. Should referral to a Maxillo Facial Consultant be necessary for an opinion, images can be emailed directly. This can save waiting time.
- To show before and after treatments e.g. changing a metal filling for a tooth coloured composite restoration….a chance for us to show off!