One of the most powerful features of a digital record, a digital radiograph, a digital impression or for that matter any digital application 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 item is… wait for it… digital.
To digitize anything, including an x-ray or an impression, means to turn the information into the electronic language that a computer can understand. Once that has been accomplished there are three things you can now do with that information; you can store, transmit and enhance the data using a computer and a computer network.
Storage means that the chart, the radiograph or any other digital item can be part of an electronic health record. Without digital diagnostics there is no way to create a paperless record.
Transmission means that the item 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 dentist can use software to bring out features in the image, analyse the surgical site or design a crown. Enhancement is the most interesting digital advantage and also the advantage which is often overlooked.