NOMAD DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHS
It's almost impossible to imagine the practice of dentistry without x-ray technology. Radiographs allow Dr. Thomas to diagnose and treat problems that are not yet visible to the naked eye, including early tooth decay, gum disease, abscesses and abnormal growths. There is no question that since x-rays first became available a century ago, this diagnostic tool has prevented untold suffering and saved countless teeth. Now, state-of-the-art digital x-rays have made the technology even safer and more beneficial, which is what is used at Thomas Family Dentistry.
Digital x-ray technology uses a small electronic sensor placed in the mouth to capture an image, which can be called up instantly on a computer screen. When digital x-rays first became available about 20 years ago, they immediately offered a host of advantages over traditional x-ray films, which required chemical processing. Most importantly, they cut the amount of radiation exposure to the dental patient by as much as 90%. While faster x-ray films have been developed over the years that require less exposure, which makes that difference less dramatic, a digital x-ray still offers the lowest radiation dose possible.
Dental hygienists and registered dental assistants take most of the radiographs in our office. Film placement, movement of the patient and past inability of having direct vision of the patient during the exposure process, have allowed the staff member to experience many frustrations while taking X-rays on a daily basis. Fortunately, now there is an amazing new technology that eliminates many of the hassles and frustrations of taking radiographs in the traditional way. The Nomad from Aribex is a handheld X-ray machine that allows you to stay in the room while the image is made.
The Nomad has revolutionized the area of dental x-rays. Years ago, for health and safety reasons, it was very important for the clinician to leave the room prior to making the image of the tooth. That type of caution was certainly appropriate when Roentgen zapped the first molar in 1895, with what was an approximate 20-second exposure. However, today's 21st century materials and equipment do in fact make it possible to stay in the room and hold the x-ray device.
The Nomad looks like a big ray gun from an old sci-fi film. There is a body, a pistol grip, and a cone or barrel that emits the X-rays. There are two features that make the Nomad safe. The body of the gun, which contains the X-ray generator, is fully enclosed in an exclusive blend of rare earth metals that completely block any radiation from escaping. This technology prevents all of the the direct X-rays from touching the dental health care staff member. Secondly, the Nomad blocks all of the backscatter with an external backscatter shield. This is the clear ring of lead-infused acrylic that fits over the barrel and creates a cone-shaped protection zone. These two break-through technologies allow the safe and effective use of one of the most valuable diagnostic tools used in the modern practice of dentistry.
Thankfully, it's no longer 1895, or even 1995. With modern equipment, like the Nomad, it is no longer necessary to leave the room while making a radiograph. The future of digital dental xrays is here and it is amazing!