ORANGE, Calif., June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The superior ease of use, safety and accuracy of digital dental X-rays convinced the health care professionals at Western Dental Services, Inc. to make the advanced technology standard equipment in each of its 260-plus dental and orthodontic offices in California, Arizona and Nevada. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100804/LA45125LOGO) The years-long conversion has given the dental HMO state-of-the-art diagnostic technology. Compared to traditional X-rays, digital X-rays offer better image quality, and also deliver many more benefits to patients. With digital X-rays, a small, smooth sensor can be positioned at any angle in the mouth to capture a detailed image. Nearly instantly, the digital image appears on a computer screen, allowing dentists to make the first shot their best shot. After the picture is taken, dentists can adjust the contrast and brightness of the image to detect even the smallest evidence of many oral health issues. Patients review their X-rays with their Western Dental dentists, a process that helps illustrate indications of decay, gum disease, infections, weakened fillings or improperly positioned teeth. "The immediate feedback has helped our patients to become more involved in their own dental health," said Dr. Louis Amendola, D.D.S., Chief Dental Director at the California-based dental HMO. Computer software gives dentists more diagnostic tools, and enhanced options for displaying, storing and sharing X-rays between computers and networks. "We are able to enlarge and compare digital images so that patients can see where they are having problems," Dr. Amendola said. Using digital technology to diagnose oral health issues considerably decreases the amount of radiation exposure. Compared to conventional film X-rays, digital images use up to 80 to 90 percent less radiation, according to The Journal of the American Dental Association.