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It’s Time To Switch To Digital Radiography

Issue: Fall 2009
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When the most conservative dental educators state that there’s no reason for dental practices to use film, then it’s time to revisit why digital radiography is so beneficial.

Benefits for your patients

First, there’s typically less radiation exposure with sensors than with film; exposure still remains a concern for most patients.

Secondly, sensor-based radiography is fast, nearly instant. Just as you don’t want to waste time, neither do your patients. They want to be in and out of your office in the shortest time possible.

Not only do they appreciate the speed of digital, patients prefer the comfort of an ergonomically shaped sensor over film (Fig. 1); capturing X-rays becomes a more pleasurable experience.

Next, is the benefit of greater understanding. Sensors yield digital images that can be enlarged and enhanced. Patients don’t really see or understand anything on a piece of film that’s 1″ x 11⁄2″. It is easier for patients to visualize conditions on large digital images. Then, the diagnosis and treatment you’re offering makes sense and is more willingly accepted.

Benefits for the dentist and dental team

Digital radiography means no film, chemicals, disposal fees, mounts, duplicating film, processor repairs, etc. The cost of these never-ending consumables (estimated at over 45¢ per piece of film, excluding labor) can be replaced by a true investment in your practice that’s also eco-friendly.

One of the greatest impacts in your daily routine will be the sensor’s fast capture and display. Soon you will come to rely on this instant image to help you save chairside time, keep you on schedule, and treat your patients in a timely manner.

Most importantly, there’s the added benefit of better diagnostics. Sensors capture images within imaging software. This software can open up a new world for you visually with image enhancements, magnification (Fig. 2), and measuring tools (Fig. 3). There’s even implant planning that calibrates a digital image for precise 2-D measurements (Fig. 4).

Another benefit is the ease at which you can communicate with others in and outside the office. Digital images can be viewed on any computer in your office, and even remotely from home. E-mailing of images to insurance companies saves your team time and effort, as well as provides smoother, faster claims processing.

Making the switch can be easier than you think. Contact your Henry Schein Dental Sales Consultant for more information.