10 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital X-ray Machine
It’s common knowledge that the dental industry is rapidly on its way to fully digitizing how it interacts with patients. We understand the investment involved, but at this point, those that have yet to make the switch are falling behind the pack. So whether you’re still on the fence or you’re just looking for affirmation that you made the right choice, here are the top 10 reasons to make the switch to the latest in digital x-ray technology.
I. Digital X-rays are safer for your patients.
In most cases digital x-ray machines require less radiation to capture the same image than a traditional film x-ray unit. Digital x-ray units also have a drastically reduced exposure time in comparison and do not require as many scans to capture the necessary view. This means patients are exposed to less radiation and a more pleasant office visit experience.
II. You’ll end up with shorter wait times and happier patients.
With more advanced Digital Imaging technology, scan times continue to shrink, and you can see almost immediately if you captured what you need to see. Making an adjustment and rescanning is simple and hassle free. Rather than sending patients away while x-rays develop, dentists can almost instantly see their digital images, cutting down on the time your patients impatiently sit around in the office. The convenience of capturing another image right then and there results in much happier and satisfied patients, eliminates any potential guesswork, and rapidly improves practice efficiency by streamlining the entire x-ray process.
III. Digital X-rays are safer for your staff
Film radiographs require processing and developing , which means your employees are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. No matter how well trained your staff is, accidents do happen. If you could eliminate one potential risk, why not?
IV. You’ll save valuable space with a digital x-ray
With an upgraded digital x-ray unit, dentists can free up precious space in their office that is being eaten up by their film processing set up, storage of unused film, chemicals and waste material , and all the exposed films taken of patients that you are responsible for. It doesn’t seem like much, but it all adds up quickly. Imagine what your practice would look like without all of this cluttering up your space. You may find that you have enough room for another operatory!
V. Digital x-rays are much more eco-friendly
We can’t forget the burden the chemicals needed to develop x-ray film place on the environment. Imagine all those harmful chemicals lying around. What happens to them after you dispose of them? No matter “how safe” you are told the disposal process is, they don’t just go away, nor does their impact on the environment.
VI. Film X-rays cost you valuable time.
Film radiography is an entire process alongside the actual scan. There are specific steps for film to be developed. With digital radiography all of these steps can be done away with, freeing you and your staff up to see more patients. Think of it this way. It takes around 10-18 minutes for a traditional film x-ray to be produced, from initial scan to development. Let’s pretend you average 8 patients a day , and assume all images come out perfectly every time with no need for rescan. That means in total, your practice has spent anywhere from 1.5-2 hours in simply developing and production of x-ray films. That’s potentially 1-2 more patients that your practice could see! Of course this also does not include the time it takes to compute these images and upload them into your project manager…
VII. Better Image Quality and Manipulation make for better diagnoses
Analog X-ray imaging systems are workhorses that continue to produce quality images. However, just as camera lenses have advanced rapidly in the past decade (think about the quality of your camera phone!) so too have digital x-ray sensors. They continue to become sensitive enough to reduce exposure times, while still capturing an image that can be enhanced and altered to best display exactly the information you need to diagnose your patient. Whereas for film, though their quality is still perfectly adequate, there’s no way to enhance images. It can take several scans before a doctor can confidently and accurately make a treatment plan based on traditional analog film x-rays. And as we’ve already pointed out above, rescanning with a film x-ray is much more of a hassle than a digital x-ray.
VIII. Make it easier on your dental practice by storing digital x-ray files, not physical ones.
Digital images obviously are ideal in comparison to storing physical x-rays. Each state has its own requirements on how long you store patients’ dental files, but no matter, it is a long time. You’re also responsible for disposing of these files properly. There is no just ‘deleting the files’ with traditional film.
IX. Integration with your dental practice management system is a cinch.
Digital is unavoidable at this point. Even practices with analog x-ray machines, are now realizing that the best way to manage their files is to upload them into their patient management system. But this takes time away from patients versus having patient files upload automatically on their own. Having these digital records makes referring a patient out to a specialist as easy as sending an email with a file attachment.
X. It’s the 21st century. Your patients expect you to ‘be current.’
At this point, it is an expectation by most patients that their Dentist be fully Digital. As their dental health advisor, it makes more sense to use digital as well. A patient that can instantly see a blown-up view of the decay in their mouth on a screen, is much more likely to agree to proposed treatments. This feeling of being included in the treatment decision process will gain you something even more valuable than their money, their loyalty!
In the end, though the investment may seem imposing, with an upgraded digital x-ray you’re likely to see much greater returns and a much happier staff and patients. Set yourself and your dental practice up for success, by upgrading to the latest in dental digital x-ray technology.