Digital X-rays are quickly replacing traditional X-rays within the dental field due to being a more eco-friendly and healthy alternative. Digital X-rays use a much smaller amount of radiation than traditional X-rays and do not require a chemical cure, which is they are considered to be better for the environment.
What are digital X-rays?
A digital X-ray is a machine that dental professionals use to scan the mouth of the patient to view the bone structure of their jaw and teeth. A digital X-ray uploads the scan photographs directly to a computer for quick viewing, where as a traditional X-ray requires the scans to be printed out and then cured using a combination of chemicals. Having the X-ray scans on a computer allows dental professionals to easily keep record of patient’s mouths and update their files much more easily without having to do any scanning. Having the photographs on a computer also allows dental professionals to zoom in on the scan and more adequately observe problem areas.
What is the purpose of digital X-rays?
A digital X-ray is used to scan the mouths of patients to view inside and see the layout of their teeth and jaw. This is done to make sure there are no unknown problems that cannot be seen without the x-ray. Dental professionals use X-rays to ensure all teeth are growing in properly and that any teeth are not causing complications.
How are digital X-rays more environmentally friendly?
Digital X-rays are more environmentally friendly than traditional X-rays because they use computer uploads, which gets rid of the chemical development. They also require less radiation which is safer for the health of patients.
- No chemical development: Before the existence of traditional X-rays, each time a dental professional needed to scan the mouth of patients, they were required to print out a photograph and then cure it using a special combination of chemicals. When using these chemicals, they would release a fume that would be vented out of the dental office. These fumes were not environmentally friendly as most fumes, so they were rid of when computer generated X-rays made their debut. When patients come in for their yearly X-rays dental professionals no longer have to cure their photos but instead they are automatically uploaded to their computers. This change is what makes digital X-rays the most environmentally friendly, but the less radiation used also creates a healthier alternative.
- Less radiation: Digital X-rays utilize about 90 percent less radiation to view the bone structures of patient’s mouths, which is a significant difference. Although most dental professionals provide precautions when it comes to using dental X-rays such as a lead cover to place over the torso of patients and sunglasses to protect their eyes, the risk of negative health side effects is still a concern. Using digital X-rays lowers the risk of damage to health from radiation poisoning, which leads to a healthier community and thusly a healthier environment as well.