The other day, I went to see my dentist and was I surprised when she stuck a different intra-oral device into my mouth for an x-ray! No, it was not the usual film and it did not require a few minutes of processing time. As soon as she clicked the button and I heard the familiar buzz, an image immediately appeared on the computer monitor. I was amazed, but really should not be. I should have realized that with fewer and fewer companies still manufacturing film, x-ray imaging would also go the digital route. Apparently it requires one third less radiation than for photographic film, so this is a good thing. The only two complaints I have is that this particular brand of intra-oral device felt huge so that I could not help gagging holding it immobile in my mouth and the corners were sharp and dug painfully into my gums and palate. A little research on the Internet reveals that intra-oral dental x-ray sensor is not new.
Digital radiography in dentistry provides the clinician with the ability to store their images on a computer. This provides two key advantages over film in the form of full screen images that can be enhanced and zoomed in on, aiding diagnostics and providing easier patient communication, as well as allowing dental offices to communicate images electronically, allowing for simpler referrals and, where applicable, easier insurance claim submission.
I would suspect that if she started to take x-ray photos of everyday objects lying around her office and posted these on the Internet, she would quickly become famous. [Hint to other dentist photographers.]
Now if they could only invent a way to numb the gums without needles. I hate needles!