Digital X-Ray Technologies

By Randall Smith, BRS Dental, Vice President, Systems Support

Digital imaging provides many benefits to the practice and the patients. Most modern digital imaging systems use lower doses of X-ray radiation than traditional film systems. With digital imaging, the purchase of film and chemicals is eliminated, with the additional benefit of not having to dispose of used film and waste chemicals. Digital images are available almost immediately for review, and if there is a need to re-take an image, that can be done before the patient is out of the dental operatory chair. On most systems, digital images are available for viewing anywhere in the office, and, if properly configured, even from remote locations. Digital images can quickly become electronic “attachments” for insurance companies with the NEA FastAttach service. With NEA FastAttach and BRS DOM integration, perio charts and narratives can be directly added to your electronic attachments without separately printing or scanning documents.

Which Digital Imaging Technology — sensors or phosphor plates? Sensors (commonly wired) connect to a computer via a USB connection, and, when placed in the mouth and exposed to X-rays immediately provide an image. Phosphor plates are handled much like film for X-ray exposure, and then are placed in a digitizer device (connected to a computer), and converted to the digital format. Phosphor plates are generally then processed for re-use. Some panographic devices are direct to digital, while others may have the ability to adapt to a special phosphor plate technology. Most digital imaging systems also accommodate intra-oral digital cameras, and other devices including point and shoot and professional cameras, and scanners. With the wide range of systems available to BRS clients, you decide what will work best in your practice.

Freedom and Flexibility. Dexis, Gendex/VixWin, Kodak-Trophy, Sopro, Schick, Suni, XDR (and more)… there are a lot of digital imaging vendors out there. Who wants a dental management software that would lock you into one vendor? DOM gives you the freedom to choose the imaging program that suits your office best. We’ve collaborated with many imaging system vendors to create bridges in DOM that pass the key identifying patient data to the imaging program. That’s more important than it sounds. Dental practice management programs that cannot integrate with the digital image software tend to create many duplicate patient records. The DOM bridge helps minimize patient duplication, and provides a positive identification of the correct patient. We keep adding additional imaging bridges based on client needs.

A Universal image viewer. — XrayVision, a popular digital imaging program from Apteryx, works with sensors, systems, and digital pan/ceph units from many vendors. If your office has a mixed vendor environment, or you would simply like the flexibility in the future for multiple vendors, XrayVision will satisfy your needs. Apteryx XrayVision and DICOM Server are components of the imaging systems available from Apteryx, which also includes the new XVweb SaaS (“Software as a Service”) subscription hosted solution. BRS is an authorized Apteryx reseller.