How Have Digital X-Rays Changed Dentistry?


digital x-rays

You may have had digital x-rays before in our office, but just how important are those x-rays? With digital x-rays, you can shorten the time a dental examination takes and experience safer and faster diagnosis. Digital x-rays are similar to traditional x-rays except they emit up to 90% less radiation. They can also be pulled up on a screen immediately instead of waiting for film x-rays to be developed. This technology allows you to receive a dental diagnosis in less time and allows us to detect dental caries easily and accurately. Save time at your next appointment at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies with digital x-rays.


Traditional X-Rays

X-rays are also known as radiographs and have been used for decades in dentistry to detect the presence of dental cavities or tooth decay. They are used in comprehensive exams at your biannual checkup to monitor changes in your teeth. In fact, medical imaging is the #1 reason this form of electromagnetic wave is used. Electromagnetic radiation consists of all the wavelengths and frequencies in our light spectrum, and each electromagnetic wave allows us to do different things. An x-ray is an electromagnetic wave of high energy that is able to pass through your body, especially the bones and teeth of your mouth. This electromagnetic wave can tell us the internal composition of your teeth through a photographic replica of the image it took. Traditional radiographs use bite wings when taking x-rays of the teeth.  Now we have digital sensors you can bite down on to take higher-quality images for greater accuracy.


Digital x-rays were first introduced in 2011 and have made quite the difference to dental services. The traditional x-ray film was replaced with a flat electronic pad or sensor (depending on the practice) that does what traditional x-rays do, but with greater accuracy. The electronic sensor takes an electronic image of your teeth that you can immediately view on a computer screen. That image can then be stored in your file, emailed or printed out easily. Film doesn’t have to be developed and materials are saved, as well as your time waiting for diagnostics. Digital x-rays allow us to catch tiny changes much quicker, which is a win for both you and us.


What You May Not Know About X-Rays

Some patients wonder about the use of x-rays in dentistry. We would never want our patients to worry about harmful x-rays. That’s the reason we use a lead shield when taking your digital x-rays so that you’re protected from radiation that could harm you over time. Digital x-rays are an amazing change in dentistry as the amount of radiation is significantly reduced. This reduction means you stay protected while receiving even better care.  Digital x-rays improve your dental services and support your safety and wellness goals. The benefits of digital x-rays are far-reaching for the environment as well.


What Digital X-Rays Offer You

  • Digital x-rays can be viewed immediately after an x-ray is taken.
  • Shorten the wait time in a dental office–no film development time.
  • Greatly reduce radiation exposure—up to 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays use.
  • Promote better diagnostics through superior image quality.
  • Offer images that be enlarged and adjusted.  Your dentist can enhance the accuracy of your diagnosis and view tiny areas of your tooth.
  • Render a versatile format that can be printed or emailed, giving you easier access to your records.


We continually try to improve upon our services and technology so that you receive superior care every time you come through the doors of our office. Digital x-rays have revolutionized the way we find and detect tooth decay. They allow us to better treat you before a small problem becomes big. This means we can keep your mouth healthier for longer saving you money and helping you avoid more extensive dental care. When tooth decay is detected quickly, we can do simple cavity treatments and sealants. If tooth decay is allowed to flourish, root canals and tooth extractions become common and are much harder on your teeth. Digital x-rays allow us to avoid advanced tooth decay, which is what we all want.

The next time you come to visit us, experience a safer and faster diagnosis with digital x-rays! Call our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office today at (970) 223-8425 to schedule your comprehensive exam!