By Jason Barth, DDS
It is a wonderful feeling to make a decision and have absolutely no regrets.
Switching from a film-based system to digital radiography was a good choice. Digital is more environmentally friendly than film-based systems that require chemical processing, and images are immediate with no time wasted waiting for developing. It was one of our steps on the path to a paperless office. We did find out, though, that not all digital sensors provide the same quality of images or the same patient comfort. Over the years, I had the opportunity to use several brands of digital sensors. Our recent trade-in to the DEXIS system has changed our view of digital radiography, improved patient comfort, and eased staff workflow.
Some years ago, we chose another system that was compatible with our EagleSoft software. We immediately noticed more difficulty taking all of our shots with those sensors, causing us to have to rely on a Phosphor Plate system for some people, especially our younger patients, in conjunction with our digital X-rays in order to capture all of our needed images. This was frustrating. It was like relying on traditional films all over again, with the only advantage being that we did not have to use chemicals. All of the other benefits related to digital sensors could not be utilized. We also noticed many more patients complaining about discomfort, requiring us to use more pads on the edges of the sensor, which equated to more time and more expense.
In our fourth year of use with our previous system, the problems started to escalate. I had already decided on changing to DENTRIX software, and knew that would lead to a change in sensors. Then, within a matter of weeks, all three of my other sensors became completely unusable. We used our PSP plates temporarily until I decided what to do.
The sensors carried a warranty, and I could have replaced them at a reduced price. However, I had already made up my mind to change. When I called my Henry Schein Sales Consultant, Charlie Lonberger, and told him of my decision to go to the DEXIS system, he told me about the trade-in program. I was happy to be able to acquire the sensors that I really wanted. The very first day that our new sensors were in use, my staff was amazed at the images. They were so well designed for ease of placement in the patients’ mouths. We could take a full-mouth series in nearly half the time that we did before, and they were so comfortable we were able to throw out our edge pads. The assistants remarked how convenient and efficient it was to only need one size sensor for every type of image. Since we switched, I can’t think of a single time that we have had to resort to our PSPs in order to get an image, even on kids! One of my team members, Erin Burch, shared her thoughts, “Now, taking X-rays is definitely easier. The angled corners are more comfortable for our patients, and the single-size is so convenient. We don’t have to worry about what size to grab—they’re very portable and just travel around the office.”
The really important aspect of any X-ray is the image itself. Everyone in the office is impressed by the clarity of the images. Our local DEXIS rep, Joel Martino, along with Charlie, made the transition seamless—we didn’t miss a beat. It is great to make the right decision the first time, and the trade-up program gives dentists the chance to rethink and replace their sensors for more durability, comfort, and image quality. Actually, even if there were no such program, I would have switched sensors anyway. The trade-in program just made the switch more enticing—and more of a no-brainer.