Close to 50% of all dentists in North America are using digital x-rays, either hard sensors or phosphor plate systems. While we tend to spend a lot of time agonizing over the choice of which systems to get, many dentists fail to recognize the importance of making sure they have the proper infrastructure in place first…and that often costs a lot more than the digital x-rays themselves!
The decision to “go digital” opens up many other decisions that need to be addressed if you’re going to have a good experience with digital x-rays:
1. Does your server have enough storage and capacity to handle the larger files? A typical practice will accumulate 20-30 GB of data per year.
2. Do the computers in the ops have enough horsepower, video memory, and speed to handle these images?
3. Do your monitors have a high enough contrast ratio (1000:1 or greater) to allow for easier diagnosis of incipient caries?
4. Do you have a good backup and disaster recovery protocol in place?
5. Do you have color printers installed?
6. Have you taken precautions to protect your data, such as installing firewalls, antivirus and antispyware software, and have you encrypted the data?
In future posts, I’ll go into these decisions in more detail, as all of them are critical for offices that are making the leap into the 21st century!