In tort law, the standard of care is the degree of prudence and caution required of an individual who is under a duty of care.
The requirements of the standard are closely dependent on circumstances. Whether the standard of care has been breached is determined by the trier of fact, and is usually phrased in terms of the reasonable person.
The above was taken from Wikipedia. The sentence, “…closely dependent on circumstances,” has a great deal to do with the local area in which the care is given. The standard of care, for example, in Juneau, Alaska may very well be different than the standard of care in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk and Greenwich will share the same standard.
It is rapidly becoming the standard of care to have digital xrays. It tells me something about the other dentist when I see film processed xrays. Here are the facts….
Digital X-rays reduce the radiation of a dental x-ray by approximately 75%. That is right, 75%. The computer images are magnificent. Dexis, the digital x-ray system in my office, has recently introduced their Platinum Sensor that is used to take the digital x-ray. The number of shades of gray is mind-boggling. Far more than the eye can determine. This is important because x-rays are shades of gray. The shades of gray help determine healthy tooth from decay.
Digital X-rays are ‘green.’ We no longer use developer or fixer solutions to develop an x-ray. These chemicals get dumped into our ecosystem somewhere. In our office, we used to have a company pick up the used fixer and developer and they would have to dispose of it in a legal manner. It is great to know that we are being more kind to the environment.
Digital X-rays are state of the art. I heard many dentists say to me, “I don’t see the need to invest in digital x-rays.” Yes, it is an investment. And it is costly to convert from traditional film to digital. But there are so many advantages. The 75% reduction in radiation isn’t the only advantage.
Efficiency. Digital X-Rays are fast. An image appears within seconds. We do not have to wait for the film to be developed. A full mouth series can be taken in under five minutes. This means more of the patient’s time is used in a better way. Whether that is in getting more time for the cleaning, consulting with the dentist or hygienist, or educating the patient about the dentition. It can even shorten your appointment time!
Involvement. The patient becomes involved in the diagnosis by seeing the x-rays on a large computer screen right in front of them. Co-diagnosis is an amazing thing to see. Very often the patients will state that they see the problem as soon as the image appears before we get to discuss it.
Communicating with specialists. If we ever need a consult with a specialist, the xrays take seconds to send. As fast as it takes for a regular email. Click and send. Last week we had a young woman (28 years old) who came in after being hit in the jaw by a field hockey ball. Within seconds, the panoramic xray showed the fracture. We called the oral surgeon and emailed the xray. We were then able to discuss her treatment with the oral surgeon and the patient within minutes. A benefit for everybody. Our office, the surgeon and, most importantly, the patient.
Invisalign. I was recently discussing Invisalign with a patient. When she looked at her x-rays on the screen she stated that she sees how the lower front teeth overlap at the roots and had a greater understanding of the need for straightening those teeth!
Digital X-rays are here now and they are here to stay. I feel that we are lucky to have such a great technology available to us today.
Thanks for visiting. 🙂