The many technological choices facing dentists choosing software may make digital radiography seem like a big hardware and software investment. However, the available digital radiography tools are not only sleek and helpful, but becoming more and more important, as this summary of the article cited below reveals.
Converting or upgrading to digital radiography is the way to go. Despite the initial disadvantages related to any major technological acquisition such as costs of equipment including hardware and software and staff training, the overall return on investment in terms of future cost savings and better patient care is well worth the effort. Besides, patients, dental and medical providers, and insurance processes will eventually require it. So, if you are not on board, start thinking about it now. The advantages of digital radiography leave little choice:
“The benefits of digital radiography are far superior than the conventional methods of obtaining radiographs. One key difference is the ability to have instant observation of the radiographic images” (2011).
Storing digital images requires less space and time than their physical counterparts, and enable zooming, alterations and notes attached to particular teeth, dates or procedures. The x-rays become a part of the patients’ electronic health record (EHR) in just a few clicks of the mouse. No more processing images the old fashioned way of labeling and filing in physical paper-based charts. Also, digital images will last longer, if not forever. Film processed by chemicals will break down over time causing the film to crumble.
“To the eco-friendly dentist, switching over to digital dental radiography also means getting rid of film developers and their chemicals. Maintaining these developing stations can be a daunting task, and there is always the stains and odors with the solutions that you had to be aware of. Digital radiography eliminates the need for these stations so that means no more chemicals, no more dark room, and you can also regain the area that the equipment once occupied” (2011).
- Benefits of digital radiography outweigh the disadvantages.
- Digital radiography eliminates messy, toxic developers, processors, and chemicals.
- Digital images store easier, is more convenient, and takes up less space.
- Digital images become a part of the HER.
- Digital images are better for insurance processing and communicating with other dental providers.
- Invest in IT staff to assist in transition, training, and support.
Brendel, T. (2011, Feb.). Convert your dental practice to digital radiography. Retrieved from http://timbrendel.articlealley.com/convert-your-dental-practice-to-digital-radiography-2015389.html July 12, 2012.