Dental Practice Improvement Series – Does This Sound Like You? Part 1

I was recently brainstorming with a few colleagues about challenges and best practices when it comes to managing a dental practice.  Although all of them faced different challenges as business owners, generally speaking, I found those who purchased digital radiography were in the process of:

  • Upgrading/modernizing an existing dental practice
  • Setting up a new dental practice
  • Auditing their current practice workflows to uncover inefficiencies

After discussing theses scenarios in detail with my peers, I decided to put together a chart that focuses on each circumstance to help those who may be in a similar situation. To keep these articles a manageable length, I am sharing my thoughts in a three-part series. Here is more information about the first of the three scenarios:

Scenario 1 Upgrading/modernizing an existing dental practice
Symptoms being experienced
  • Long processing time to develop film x-rays is adding time to patient visits and minimizing the number of patients who can be seen during the day
  • Difficulty sharing files and images easily with referrals
  • Patient inquiries about film x-rays and their safety, including questions about why the office has chosen not to upgrade
  • Processing film is costly and time-consuming
  • New dental team members are trained in new technologies and unable to efficiently utilize out-of-date equipment.


Internal requirements to consider before upgrading:
  • What technology upgrades (if any) will need to be made internally to accommodate new digital radiography system? (e.g. Hardware and Software)
  • What does the upgrade entail? One system or various working together?
  • How will incorporating digital radiography change my current workflow?
Questions to ask when you are meeting with a provider:
  • Time to implement the technology–how long before our office is up and running?
  • What kind of technical support services do you provide?
  • What is the process for servicing products should something happen?
  • What kind of employee training do you offer to ensure a smooth transition from film to digital machines?
  • What types of warranties are available for your products?

I hope this information is helpful if you are in the process of upgrading your current dental practice.  I look forward to your comments and/or feedback.

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