Content provided by Jeanne Giovinco, CDPMA
There are many reasons to invest in technology. By innovating, offices can become more efficient and productive, thereby saving time and money. But the best reason dentists should use new technologies is that these tools can provide better care for patients.
Digital radiography is one of the most basic technologies that every office should implement. After all, this is a technology that dentists and their teams use on a daily basis. While the majority of offices already are utilizing this technology, a few holdouts still remain—more on this later. Since technology evolves, many dentists are on their second and even third digital X-ray systems. Dentists owe it to themselves to re-evaluate products as they become available, and I am happy to assist in this endeavor.
When I perform a technology assessment at a dental office, I first evaluate the practice’s current systems and products. On the equipment side, I typically begin with their radiography system. If they’re using film, I explain that they should waste no time in investing in a digital system. There is no reason that any modern dental practice should be using film in this day and age. There is too much research that supports that digital X-ray is better than film. And even the ADA states that radiation exposure can be decreased 40 to 60% when dentists move from film to digital*—patients deserve this reduction.
If the practice is using a digital X-ray system, I then look at several factors.
- How efficient is this system for the way the dental team operates?
- Are the assistants and hygienists complaining that the sensor is hard to position?
- Are there too many parts and pieces?
- Is the software cumbersome?
- And the most important factor—is the doctor happy with image quality?
I might make a recommendation to change to a different system. If the current system is fairly new, these dentists may be reluctant to change to a more efficient system. However, this can be part of the overall technology plan for the office and can be budgeted for as soon as possible.
As a former practicing clinician, I have had the opportunity to use one of the most prevalent X-ray systems. I feel very confident in recommending the DEXIS™ Platinum system. I believe that this sensor and software duo provides the best image quality of any current manufacturer. Of special note is that the clinician can gain consistent, highly clinical image quality at very low doses—and, of course, better diagnosis and lowered radiation benefits patients.
Also, since DEXIS has always offered a single–sized sensor, the system is the most efficient by default—there are less sensors and less holders to handle before and after radiographic procedures. But it’s not only the hardware, but the software that adds to the efficiency. Fewer screens and fewer clicks mean that it takes less time and creates less frustration to perform tasks within the software. This is what the DEXIS software does, hands-down, better than anyone. Even someone with no digital X-ray training is quickly able to figure out the functions of the icons; it’s that intuitive. I felt so strongly about this system that I underwent the company’s training to be able to add DEXIS Instruction to my list of certifications. It’s just the best.
*Dental Radiographic Examinations: Recommendations For Patient Selection And Limiting Radiation Exposure; found on www.ada.org
Jeanne Giovenco, Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator, has over 30 years of experience in the dental industry. She is the founder of GIO Dental Consulting, a company that provides strategic efficiency planning for dental offices to increase productivity, patient retention, treatment accept and customer service that builds patient loyalty and referrals. Ms. Giovenco holds certifications in Practice Management Administration, Radiation Health and Safety, CPR and First Aid, OuickBooks™, DEXIS™ and more. She is devoted to assisting doctors and their teams in achieving their objectives and goals.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Ms. Giovenco and do not necessarily represent the views of DEXIS, LLC. She has no financial interest in DEXIS, LLC.