Cloudy Versus Clear Skies

By Chris Riedel, DDS

The benefits of digital radiography over film have been widely recognized — digital eliminates the chemicals needed for film and lowers radiation exposure to patients. Since implementing another brand of digital system and then switching to DEXIS™ Platinum, I have realized something more — that it is not just digital, but DEXIS that has brought me the most benefits.

I found DEXIS to be superior to my previous system in a number of categories. First, and perhaps most important, the image quality is vastly clearer, allowing for greater accuracy and confidence in diagnostics. In addition, the ClearVu™ image enhancement tool is fantastic; I use it every time to obtain even more sharpness. I feel very strongly about patient education, and DEXIS images support me in my educational goals. I can enlarge digital X-rays for patients to view without pixilation. I then explain the issue, the possible causes, and my plan for treatment. Understanding the X-rays has motivated patients not only to accept treatment, but also to become excited and appreciative.

My entire office team has recognized the difference in clarity in DEXIS X-rays over our previous system.

Besides improved image clarity, the patients noticed an immediate improvement in their comfort level when being X-rayed with the DEXIS sensor, and the rounded corners also make a huge difference in ease of placement for my team.

Honestly, it’s difficult to figure out my favorite part of the DEXIS system. The software’s capabilities are impressive. I can compare and contrast images on the same screen even from different modalities, such as intra-oral and extra-oral photos and X-rays, very quickly. I can also view images in chronological order on one screen. This makes it easy to say to the patient, “Here is your tooth six months ago, and here it is now. This shadow represents growing infection (or decay).” I can organize the X-rays I want in any order, just by clicking on the screen. I don’t have to move in and out of various boxes; everything is right there. With the Overview screen, I can see pans, cephs, photos, periapicals and bitewings—all at once. That’s a bevy of information on one screen. I can place intra-oral photos from my DEXcam™ side-by-side on the screen with X-rays for even more targeted patient education. Also, I can use the drawing and commenting tools to point out certain areas to patients, specialists and the laboratory.

This digital system helps in documentation. Some patients are completely asymptomatic but have an issue such as a fractured amalgams or an open margin. They are not obligated to consent to treatment right away, but the liability and responsibility to inform them of the problem is on my shoulders. For example, I can say, “Here is the failing restoration,” and then speak to what may possibly happen. If the patient returns six months later and says that his/her filling is broken, we have documentation of our past recommendations. We have intra-oral photographs and radiographs on file so when the patient returns with bite-related tooth pain, we can review this complete record and visual history with them.

My entire office team has recognized the difference in clarity in DEXIS X-rays over our previous system. It is so evident, that even my patients can tell the difference. It’s like comparing cloudy vs. clear skies!

About the Author: Dr. Riedel graduated from University of Texas, Health Science Center,
San Antonio Dental School. He maintains a private practice in Orange, TX.