One of the most powerful features of a digital radiograph is one which is so obvious that it is sometimes ignored. It is an advantage which people with limited experience with digital technology often do not appreciate. That is, just the simple fact that the x-ray image is digital is a tremendous benefit.
To digitize anything, including an x-ray, means to turn the information into the electronic language that computers can understand. Once the radiograph is digital there are three things you can now do with it; you can store, transmit and enhance the image using a computer network.
- Storage means that the radiograph can be part of an electronic health record. Without digital diagnostics there is no way to create a paperless record.
- Transmission means that the image can be stored in a server computer and viewed instantly at any computer in the office. However beyond that the image could also be viewed instantly by the specialist across town or by the insurance carrier in another state or by a consulting radiologist in another country.
- Enhancement means that the dental software can bring out features in the image that would not be seen otherwise. Enhancement is the most interesting digital advantage and also the advantage which is often overlooked.