If you’re a dentist in 2016, you already know that investing in the right kind of digital image equipment is half the battle. In dentistry, there are two types of digital imaging systems used in intraoral radiography: computed radiography (CR) and direct radiography (DR). These are then categorized into periapical and panoramic x ray machines. Furthermore, there are two sources of image noise used in digital imaging: statistical noise and structured noise. Due to the wide range of x ray machine capabilities, you should do some research of your own and rely on your education to figure out which machine is worth your investment.
Your dentist or the dental tech inputs the command for the portable dental x rays unit to send a X-ray through your teeth and into the sensor, effectively taking a photo of your tooth or teeth. The sensor captures the resulting image and sends it through the wire to the computer. Then your dentist will reposition the sensor and take additional digital X-rays until all of your teeth have been X-rayed.
With digital dental X-rays, your dentist or other dental professional is able to immediately see your teeth and jaw bones. This means that assessment and diagnosis is virtually instantaneous.
Digital dental radiography requires a slightly different process. Intraoral images are taken by asking the patient to bite down on an X-ray sensor placed inside the mouth. There is much less radiation involved in digital scans than in film-based electromagnetic radiation, so it is usually safe enough to take numerous X-rays and view all of the teeth from multiple angles. This is useful for checking for decay or tooth problems that can be easily missed during a clinical checkup.
The intraoral camera makes record keeping a breeze. Because the camera can take pictures of decay or the beginnings of oral health conditions, images can be printed and placed into patient files. Previously, dentists merely attempted to write an explanation of problems found during exams. Now, dentists can accurately track the progress of treatments or problems for years following a visit. Furthermore, patients can receive printed pictures of the conditions the dentist finds, which may be beneficial for filing insurance claims.
The intraoral camera is very small and approximately the size of a pen. Because of its small size, the camera can reveal images of the teeth from angles previously unseen. All exams using the intraoral camera are completely sanitary, as a different disposable camera cover is used on each patient every time. Images from the intraoral camera may be digitally stored, printed or disposed of following an exam.