Dec. 4 , 2006

Digital dental x-rays offer quick viewing and are more in-depth

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

As time marches on, new technologies are continually popping up, such as digital dental x-rays that can make a dental visit more interesting and educational.

Winsted Gentle Dental Care now offers this new x-ray technique called digital radiography.

“Cutting-edge innovations in dental instruments mean less time in the dental chair, less discomfort, and more satisfying results,” said Dr. James J. Neff, DDS of Winsted Gentle Dental Care.

“One breakthrough instrument, the Schick CDR, allows us to quickly take x-rays with up to 85 percent less radiation. Not to imply that dental x-rays have a lot of radiation because they don’t, but you can take four or five (digital x-ray) shots with the same amount of radiation as just one (of the old method),” Dr. Neff explained.

The digital images appear on the computer screen instantaneously. “There’s no film to process or mount,” Dr. Neff said.

The patient also benefits by being able to view the x-ray on a large screen as opposed to a small film.

“Once the image is on the computer screen you can manipulate it. You can make it lighter or darker, invert it, look for cavities with a magnifier lens, highlight dark areas to see them better, and look at the image in many different ways,” he said.

“An image taken with the new system can actually help the dentist make a better diagnosis of dental problems. That’s because the image can be magnified 300 times to enhance diagnosis, manipulated to clarify contrast, and color-adjust to reveal hidden problems,” Dr. Neff said.

“Most of the institutions like hospitals and medical clinics will be going to digital. I think the thing that holds everybody back is the cost. Like any new technology, it’s expensive. We waited several years already and the cost has come down some,” he said.

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