Transitioning to Digital Sensors: Anticipate Costs

Are you considering using digital sensors for your imaging? Digital radiography is becoming a norm in the dental environment, so it’s probably wise to consider the move to the higher technology. The transition to digital sensors may be a step in the right direction in upgrading from traditional radiography techniques.

However, this transition may also have some costs that should be anticipated. You will need the software and more than likely, service and support packages! So, it’s best to plan any costs associated with implementing and using a digital sensor.

In the article cited below (2012), author Jim Ramey sums it up nicely with his list of some potential costs that could be associated with owning and operating a digital sensor:

• Monthly fees-software support, warranty fees, maintenance fees.
• Warranties-some limited offered, but best to get an extended warranty.
• Updates-to the software and frequency of updates.
• Bridging Software-most are compatible with practice management software, but be sure to inquire.
• Imaging Software-some digital sensor imaging software may not be compatible with another manufacturer’s sensor.

On a more environmental note, you will no longer need film, processing chemicals and other equipment that goes into tradition x-rays. No longer will you need an entire room dedicated to processing film since digital sensors take up less space. Also, disposal costs will become a mute issue.

Lessons learned:

  • Be sure to review digital sensors to find the right fit for your dental office’s needs.
  • Make sure to understand any associated “hidden” costs with digital sensor ownership.
  • Digital sensors (hardware) may or may not be compatible with your current practice management software.
  • Digital imaging software may be proprietary and not compatible with certain hardware or software.
  • Digital sensors are better for the environment and eliminate the need to traditionally process film.

Ramey, J. (2012, Feb.). The five hidden costs of digital sensors. Dental Economics, 102 (2); 20-22. Retrieved July 28, 2012 from