Digital is better in Stamford – How X-rays have changed

Dentistry has been around since before 2600 BC, but the term dentist didn’t appear until the late eighteenth century. Before that people went to “Barber Surgeons”. One of the most famous was none other than Doc Holliday. But Doc didn’t have the benefit of X-rays.

Barber surgeons relied on the patients to tell them what was wrong and in some cases they would simply cut into your mouth to find the offending tooth. 

Thankfully in 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the x-ray, and C. Edmund Kells took to the new technology immediately. In 1896, he was the first dentist to use dental x-rays.

It took almost a half a century before dental x-rays became standard in all dentists offices. In that time, image quality and film speed increased, and patient comfort was improved. After World War II, the U.S. began making recommendations for good oral hygiene and in 1958 the reclining dental chair was first sold.


Even with the improvements in Dentistry, the country also saw the increase of soft drinks. One of the biggest offenders in tooth decay. X-rays became even more important to weed out the cavities that were lurking in small teeth, and address the decay that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

The film was placed behind or between your teeth and you would often bite down as the radiation generating camera took images to produce a chemical change on the film. The dentist or technician would have to go into a dark room, or send the x-rays out to a lab, to have them developed. 

Eventually the film was replaced with metal plates that allowed dentists to see even more of the affected areas. But the amount of radiation was still far from ideal and the process was long and a bit scary.


Then, in 1987, RadioVisioGraphy came into play and by the end of the decade most dentists had switched to digital x-rays. 


Digital X-Rays 

  • Didn’t need chemicals to process
  • Could be viewed instantly
  • Provided sharper images
  • Allowed for better diagnoses
  • And didn’t require as much radiation to produce results.


Digital X-rays in Stamford are the best way to diagnose bone loss, abscesses, tooth decay, and even tumors. There are some problems that classic x-rays couldn’t detect. While there is still radiation involved, the amount of radiation with digital is 80% less than traditional x-rays. One digital dental x-ray is less radiation than you receive from flying in a jet plane for two hours and less than if you live in a brick house.

So, when your dentist tells you you need to have x-rays at your next visit, or your child complains about getting x-rays, just remember, you don’t have to look for the barber pole, and your dentist is probably not a gunslinger. 

Make sure to call us at (203) 324-7777 so we can schedule your next appointment.