Are you still using E-speed or F-speed films in your office? Do your assistants or hygienists still have to go to the dark room to process radiographs? If you answered yes and you are reading this in 2022 and beyond, then I believe it’s really about time for you to go digital! It’s time for you to come out of hibernation and update your office equipment!
Top 3 Advantages of Digital Sensors:
- Ease of Use- No darkrooms, no manual xray processing, image on the screen in seconds! (This reason alone in my opinion, should be enough for you to make the switch!!)
- Low dose of radiation needed to activate the sensors- This technology enables us to expose our patients to LESS radiation! A full mouth series done on F speed film exposes the patient to 0.171000 mSv while digital xrays expose them to only 0.0900000 mSv! In simple terms: digital xrays expose patients to HALF the radiation they would get from any analog film!
- Imaging software allows Drs to enhance images and see things clearer! Xray too dark? Adjust the brightness! A little fuzzy? Try adjusting the contrast!
Top 3 Disadvantages of Digital Dental Sensors:
- Cost- sensors are definitely more expensive than films INITIALLY. But, overtime, you will recoup your expenses by being more efficient in time and diagnosis.
- Sensors are computer and software dependent- If your computer or network or software is down, then you won’t be able to take those xrays!
- You may need to replace your sensor after a few years- same as any type of technology. Sensors have a lifespan of 3- 5+ years depending on which brand you buy. As long as they are cared for and not repeatedly dropped to the floor, then they should last.
Handheld Xray Generators:
Let’s talk about cost efficiency! These are perfect for those wanting to be able to take xrays in different operatories without buying 1 xray generator per room. With these portable units, you can take xrays in whichever operatory you want. Also, if you are doing teledentistry, you can bring these handheld units on the go!
Concerned about safety? An article in Dimensions in Dental Hygiene published in April 2022 compared handheld units to wall mount units. They said that portable xrays do not expose clinicians or patients to a significantly higher amount of radiation when compared to traditional wall-mounted units. So basically, they are at par with each other.
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