The information below was taken from the following websites: https://rpop.iaea.org/RPoP/RPoP/Content/InformationFor/HealthProfessionals/1_Radiology/DigitalRadiography.htm
Digital radiology may represent the greatest technological advancement in medical imaging over the last decade. The use of radiographic films in x ray imaging might become obsolete in a few years. An appropriate analogy that is easy to understand is the replacement of typical film cameras with digital cameras. Images can be immediately acquired, deleted, modified, and subsequently sent to a network of computers.
The benefits of digital radiology are enormous. It can make a radiological facility or department filmless. Radiographs can be produced in real-time; thus eliminating the wait for processing. The referring dentist or physician can view the requested image on a desktop or a personal computer and often report in just a few minutes after the examination was performed. The images are no longer held in a single location; but can be seen simultaneously by dentists or physicians who are kilometres apart. In addition, the patient can have the x ray images on a compact disk to take to another dentist, physician or hospital.
Further, radiation exposure is reduced by as much as 90% from conventional film taking. The cost, labor and record-keeping necessary to maintain a chemical processor and darkroom are eliminated. The costs of purchasing and disposing of film and environmentally hazardous chemicals also become unnecessary.
Most digital radiography systems use a charge-coupled device (CCD) that is attached by a thin cable to a computer. This image can then be adjusted for darkness and contrast, enlarged and otherwise manipulated to produce diagnostic information. The biggest advantage of the CCD systems is that the image is available within seconds.
Digital radiography should be evaluated first with regard to onea��s practice needs and utilization patterns. Digital x-ray images may be integrated with onea��s practice management software, although this is not a requirement and many practitioners use the digital radiography software as a free-standing program independent of their main practice software. Image quality, ease of placement of the sensor or phosphor plate, ease of learning and intuitiveness of the software for working with, storing and retrieving the radiographic images, and cost should all be evaluated. One must make the decision to implement this technology if and when it fits into individual practice philosophies and goals.