Without exception any digital “whatever” is better than the equivalent non digital “whatever”. This applies to digital photos, x-rays, chart records, diagnostics, impression and any of the other amazing new digital technologies we see coming to the dental profession.
We tend to focus on the pros and cons of individual products but the fact is all digital technologies share a distinct digital advantage. The digital advantage not only makes that individual product better but it means that digital products enhance each other, they are synergistic, creating a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Each digital product has some advantage but as a whole the advantage of digital products working together is just simply amazing!
In very simple terms there are three advantages to digital;
Storage: Once something is digital it can be stored on a computer. That means no need for paper charts, plaster models, radiographs, insurance forms, photographs or any of the other things we used to store on shelves and in cabinets.
Transmission: Once something is digital it can be transmitted on a computer network. That means a treatment plan created in the operatory can be viewed (instantly) at the front desk. It also means an insurance form can be submitted to the claims office in another city or a cone beam CT can be sent around the globe to be evaluated by the top expert in the world.
Enhancement: Once something is digital it can be altered or enhanced using a computer application. That means everything from simply adding another treatment to a chart to the complex application of creating a three dimensional representation of a tooth and designing a restoration to be milled with a CAD-CAM system.