Over my years in practice, I have experienced several types of X-ray systems. As a military dentist, I used film X-ray for 21 years. When I opened my private practice in 2002, budget constraints led me to believe that purchasing a phosphor-plate system would be more economical. After discovering that image quality was lacking with the phosphor system, I made the decision to upgrade to a direct sensor.
I wanted to experience the system from my patient’s standpoint. Since patient comfort was a primary factor, I decided to try out the system on the most difficult patient I could think of—myself. Even though I am a dentist, as a dental patient, I am prone to gagging and drooling. To put the digital sensor to the ultimate test, I tried four different digital sensors by different manufacturers to capture a set of vertical bitewings and a few periapical images. The DEXIS sensor, with its rounded corners, was by far the most comfortable, and the image quality and software were also very persuasive benefits.
The transition to digital produced such dramatic image improvement that I was reminded of my mother’s reaction after having cataract surgery. She said, “I can’t believe I was driving like that.” The same is true about my switch to digital. This past summer, I upgraded to DEXIS Platinum sensors. Although I knew that some image quality was missing with both my film and phosphor systems, I can’t believe how much more clarity and detail DEXIS sensors bring to my practice.
The clarity of the images improves my ability to diagnose dental conditions and helps me communicate that diagnosis to the patient.
For my staff, my DEXIS system is a win-win situation and a great time saver. Even though the phosphor-plate system takes less time to develop, it is still more time consuming than digital. My staff does not have to stop working with the patient and spend time developing X-rays, and they don’t have to clean the processor or be exposed to its chemicals. DEXIS images instantaneously pop up on my computer monitor. This speed is especially critical when doing certain procedures; for example, when doing endodontics, if I want to verify a length, the information is there, with no waiting.
Besides sensor comfort, patients also appreciate what has become known as “co-diagnosis,” the ability to sit side-by-side with me and discuss their case. It is so much easier to point out a lesion on a 19-inch monitor than to hold up a little piece of film. My DEXIS sensor and the interactivity of the software make it easier for the patients to understand their conditions and hopefully accept treatment.
Over the years, I have added new technologies that offer my patients the best care possible. I have a lot of “toys” to play with, but of all of my equipment, DEXIS is on my list of top five technology favorites in the office. DEXIS X-rays, captured by the Platinum sensor, have helped to make me a better dentist. The clarity of the images improves my ability to diagnose dental conditions and helps me communicate that diagnosis to the patient. That, together with my intraoral camera, digital photography, and patient education programs, has made my life easier and definitely has resulted in better dental care and an improved office experience for my patients.