Digital Dental X-Ray
We are extremely proud to be the first
Hospital in the Central Virginia area to purchase the new Digital Dental X-Ray System. What does that mean to you and your pet? The next time that your pet has a dental scaling, we will be able to look at highly detailed images of your pet's teeth, their roots, and the surrounding bone structure. This will enable us to make the best decisions possible about the health of individual teeth. Your pet deserves the best!
This is a digital radiograph of a root abcess. Note the dark area to the left of the root, this is the infected area.
This is the same three rooted tooth, after it was removed. Note that one root is infected, while the other two roots are normal.
We are all familiar with the older, traditional X-Rays (Radiographs) that had to be viewed on light boxes. This technology, which is used by 99.99% of the Medical and Veterinary facilities in this country, has many potential problems that are resolved by using digital radiology. When a technician "takes" an X-Ray, he or she is actually exposing a piece of radiographic film, within a special holder called a cassette. Inside this cassette is a layer of special chemicals (the screen) that "light up" when hit with radiation and in turn expose the radiographic film. This film is then developed either by hand in tanks of chemicals or, more commonly, by and automatic x-ray processor. OK, so what is wrong with this system?
- The screen inside the film cassettes deteriorates over time and produces images that are more and more fuzzy with increasing age.
- X-Ray film, if not handled perfectly, can have artifacts which can interfere with interpretation.
- Developing fluids age, and if not kept in fresh condition and used at the right temperature, the resulting image may be fuzzy, or under developed.
- If the radiographic exposure is too light or too dark, the image may not reveal the information that is needed to make a diagnosis.
Digital Radiography fixes all of the above. The image plate is much more sensitive than the old radiographic film-screen combination. The number of pixels per inch is far greater. Additionally, the image plate is "read" by computer and can register many more "shades of gray" than can be seen by the human eye. When the technician captures an image, the image is seen on the computer within 4-5 seconds (versus 4-5 minutes with traditional radiographs). This allows the technician the flexibility to retake images immediately if they are not perfect. Once the image is put on computer, the doctor can greatly magnify the image, change brightness, and contrast to see details otherwise invisible to us. The particular system that we have purchased also has a special enhancement feature that processes the image to bring out hidden details that the computer picks up, but would be missed by the human eye.
This is a traditional radiograph.
This is a digital radiograph...notice the huge
difference in resolution and detail as compared
to the traditional radiograph (left).