Going Digital: It’s Easier Than You Think

If you haven’t switched to digital radiography, it’s likely due to concerns like these:

  • Operational challenges
  • Cost
  • Staff retraining

The misconceptions about digital radiography dissuade many oral health professionals from making the transition. They focus on the immediate impact of equipment changes and stop there.

Do you fall into this category? If so, you may not realize the potential for digital radiography to advance your dental practice objectives.

Misconception Reality Next Step
“Digital radiography isn’t worth the cost of computerizing my backend.”

If treatment rooms are not already computerized, adding digital radiography may seem like an expensive option.

Two key points:
# 1 – Not all digital radiography products require a computerized operatory. For example, phosphor plate systems have a workflow similar to film but can develop images much faster and do not require a treatment room computer. Some digital sensors  work with portable computing / display options, such as a tablet.
# 2  – Computerizing your back office and networking a good practice management system can actually reduce overall operational costs in many ways
Don’t assume all digital radiography products won’t be adaptable to the technology level of your practice. If you aren’t planning to computerize your treatment rooms, ask about mobile solutions or digital radiography products with a workflow similar to film.
“Digital sensors are big, bulky and hard to position.”

Many dentists are afraid that digital intraoral sensors are harder to position than film and are more uncomfortable for their patients.

Today’s digital intraoral sensors come in a variety of sizes and can capture a wide range of images. They’re designed for comfort and easy placement.

 

Look for sensors that:

– Come in different sizes

– Can capture different types of images

– Have positioning systems that facilitate placement

“Digital radiography is too expensive.”

Some practices are hesitant to purchase digital radiography products because the initial costs are higher than film radiography’s.

The upfront cost of digital radiography is more than film. However, this is a one-time expense. And, if you consider the savings in time and consumables (film/chemicals), you may discover that you actually spend less in the long run. Compare your yearly spend on film/chemicals to the cost of digital radiography equipment. Depending on how many images you capture annually, you may save by making the switch.

 

What are your concerns about digital radiography? Or if you’ve already made the switch to digital, what advice do you have for practitioners who haven’t?

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