Digital X - ray

Modern dentistry is characterized by the rapid development of diagnostic and treatment methods. X-ray, discovered in 1895 by W. C. Röntgen, remains one of the most important diagnostic tools in modern medicine and dentistry. Nowadays digital X-ray imaging is being taken for granted in most of dental clinics. We strive to offer the best to our patients. That is why dental clinic „Pilėnė“ is equipped with ultramodern X-ray imaging system Sidexis by Sirona (Germany).

How does digital X-ray work and what advantages does it give to a patient? One of the biggest advantages is significantly lower radiation dosage (4-10 times lower, compared to analog X-ray). Digital CCD sensors are more sensitive to X-rays compared with X-ray film, thus allowing the reduction of exposure time (Dunn, Kantor, (1993), Journal of American Dental Association). It is possible to capture a digital image using analog X-ray machines, but the best results are achieved when using modern high-frequency direct current (DC) machines – they are designed to generate the shortest exposures. In our clinic “Pilėnė“ we use one of the most modern DC machines – Gendex 765DC.

Other undisputed digital technology advantages are speed and comfort. Patient can remain in the chair, the X-ray image is seen instantly in the computer screen, it is then saved and can be easily found in the register. The image can be transferred to an external drive (e.g. USB) or sent by email.  

Less obvious, but no less important, are advantages that this technology provides to the clinician. Traditional X-ray film can get too much or too less exposed, therefore forcing the clinician to repeat the X-ray procedure in order to get the accurate view. When using digital X-ray imaging, possibility of such mistakes is significantly reduced – clinician can thoroughly analyze the X-ray using various tools provided by software. Special diagnostic algorithms allow dentist to distinguish and diagnose tooth decay in cases, where, otherwise, it would have remained unnoticed.  

Moreover, it should not be forgotten that digital X-ray imaging machines are environmentally-friendly. Traditional photofinishing chemicals are highly toxic and digital technology allows absolute withdrawal of such chemicals.

Probably the only disadvantage of digital X-ray is thicker sensors which causes discomfort for some patients (especially kids), when inserted into the mouth. However, there is a workaround in such situations – a special phosphor plate the thickness of traditional X-ray film may be used. After the exposure, image is transferred to a computer using a special scanner. Phosphor plates are as sensitive as CCD sensors, therefore the X-ray exposure time is just as short.