Digital versus film radiography

shutterstock_82183270-taking x-ray

This critical summary of a systematic review published in 2010 was prepared under the auspices of the American Dental Association Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry . The aim of this review was to assess how film-based radiography compared with digital radiography.

The commentator highlights the fact that the review only searched one database ( PubMed) and had other methodological issues . In addition the overall strength of the evidence was poor in that the included studies were largely observational.

While the review itself  notes a number of challenges for digital radiography. The commentator noted that it is likely that

digital radiography will ultimately replace film-based radiography and dental practitioners must be knowledgeable and prepared to cope with the advantages and disadvantages of digital radiography.

Go to the ADA summary

Go to the PubMed abstract of the original review






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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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