Digital X-Rays vs. Traditional X-Rays: Which Is Better?

Digital X-Rays vs. Traditional X-Rays: Which Is Better?

Aug 01, 2020

Since the dawn of the 1900s, X-rays have been used to diagnose health problems. It is the oldest and often used method of medical imaging. Peering into the human body has dramatically improved the odds of many people who have been suffering from various health issues.

Radiology has made significant leaps over the recent years, and it is now even better than when it was first discovered. The traditional X-Rays uses film radiography to examine the different parts of the body.

But now, this has been modernized, and X-rays are not what they used to be. Digital X-rays are now in every imaging center near you. The conventional X-rays are not obsolete; they are still being used in the X-ray Center near you.

What has really changed over the years? Let’s compare the two.

Traditional X-Rays

Look at the standard X-rays as the old cameras that used films to capture images. X-rays are usually a type of electromagnetic radiation, the same as visible light. The only difference is that X-rays emit higher energy and can pass through objects such as your body.

Medical X-rays used in our emergency room near you can be used to generate images of structures and tissues inside the body.

For X-rays to take an image, the part of your body that needs to be captured will be positioned between the X-ray source and X-ray detector.

When the X-ray machine is turned on, the X-rays pass through the body and are readily absorbed by different organs and structures. Structures such as bones with a higher atomic number will readily absorb X-rays causing the image on the radiograph (film) to seem whiter than the black background.

The X-rays readily pass through less dense substances such as fat and muscle. These typically appear as shades of gray on the film.

Digital X-Rays

Digital X-rays are like the digital cameras we have today. They still use X-rays as the standard X-rays; the only difference is that their sensors are connected to a computer and not a film. This enables the modern X-ray to capture clearer and more accurate images as compared to its predecessor.

Digital vs. Traditional X-Rays

Radiation Levels

The major concern when it comes to X-rays is exposure to radiation. Even though it is a digital radiograph, people still get queasy. When getting an X-ray in our emergency clinic, you might be told that you need to wear a lead apron, which just compounds the fear of radiation exposure.

The radiation emitted by X-rays is relatively low and is safe to receive after a few months.

The radiation levels produced by modern X-rays are even safer than the standard X-rays since they emit 80% less radiation than classic rays.

Environmental Impact

For traditional X-rays to produce an image, a film has to be used. Many chemicals are used to develop pictures. These chemicals are toxic, and if they are not correctly disposed of, they will find their way into the environment.

Films and the chemicals needed to develop the images come in packages that have to be disposed of, increasing the waste.

On the other hand, modern X-rays avoid films. This helps solve the problem of disposing of waste and produces less waste altogether.

Image Clarity

The whole point of using radiography is to peer into the body and detect health issues that otherwise cannot be viewed with the naked eye. For this to happen, you need to produce clear images.

Digital radiography, as compared to its predecessor, produces far sharper images, since digital sensors aid in creating higher resolution images. This aids our doctors to see even the smallest detail that would easily be missed.

The images are instantly produced when using digital radiographs, and there is no need to process them as you would do with standard X-rays.

Record Keeping

Films, just like printed photos, utilize a lot of storage space. Digital media, on the other hand, uses virtual storage.

Being able to store, share, and retrieve digital images quickly is a huge plus. As doctors, we need a well-maintained filing system to retrieve the medical records easily. Since we have many patients, digital media is easier to use, store, and share.

Generally, digital X-rays are better than its predecessor, and they are worth embracing. If you need radiology services or any other medical service, contact our doctors at our emergency clinic, Express ER, in Abilene.

Call Now