How Do I Know Which Dental X-Ray Sensor to Buy?
And How Not to Break Them
At some point we are all going to buy some digital x-ray sensors. Unless, you are on Team Phosphor Plates, of which I can’t image why (Unless you want to wait 10 minutes for your assistant to run the plates through the processor, only to then realize they need to retake an image or two and then wait another 10 minutes from them to run the processor – let’s not go there).
I went straight to the source and spoke with a representative from Dentimax X-ray Sensors (www.Dentimax.com). You’ll see that interview below and can watch for yourself. I did not want the interview to turn into just a big pitch for Dentimax Sensors – there are lots of sensor brands out there. Use your own brain, do your own research, and see which one is best for you. I wanted to get some real value and some real answers. Side note – yes, I use Dentimax Sensors in my practice and have for 5+ years. Dentimax became a Practice Biopsy sponsor a few months ago 🙂
Here are some key takeaways I learned from this interview:
Things to Consider When Buying an X-Ray Sensor
- The current going rate for a sensor for price is between $4,000 to $10,000 per sensor. In the future, these prices are likely to drop in the future the way trends are going.
- The biggest difference from sensor to sensor….is brand name recognition. At this point, x-rays are a very old and predictable technology.
- Consider long-term costs of a sensor. Does your sensor company charge ongoing fees? Do they require certain software? Do they have mandatory software updates that you have to pay for?
- An Open Sensor is an x-ray sensor that will work with pretty much ANY dental imaging software you have
- Does your sensor need a TWAIN? A TWAIN is a piece of software designed to make a piece of equipment work, with a software it was not originally designed to work with.
How to Make Your Sensor Last Longer
A sensor is an expensive investment. I still remember one particular dentist when I was younger touring me around her office and opening up a drawer FULL of broken x-ray sensors. She told me sensors were terrible. Well…I’m around 5 years into my practice and have yet to have a broken sensor. Still running strong on the original ones. But again, sensors are expensive. We want to take care of them. Micah from Dentimax went over a few tips to help extend the lifespan of your X-ray Sensor
- Do not plug your sensor directly into the CPU. Buy a USB extension cord to plug your sensor into and LEAVE it plugged into that extension cord all the time. Continually plugging and unplugging the sensor directly can strip the USB of the sensor and leave it non-functional. Those cables are only like $3 bucks
- Communicate with your patients to gently close during x-rays, one of the #1 causes of broken sensor is the patient biting down on it and breaking it
- Safely hang the sensor, do not store curled up or in a drawer. Buy a small hook and hang the sensor from a wall where the cord can hang relatively straight, not curled up this can damage the cable. Also keep safe from drawers. Sensors are sometimes broken by accidently slamming the sensor in the drawer when you or a team member closes it.
- Buy a Powered Hub for your CPU. Similar idea to buying a USB extension cable. Except this component plugs into the CPU and protects the built in USB hub on your computer. Remember, you don’t want to strip the USB ports. Better to ruin an extension cord or powered hub from wear and tear.
I Broke It, Now What?
- Usually 3rd Party Companies will try to repair sensors, not the sensor sales company
- If you use one of these repair companies you will likely void any warranty you have if you want to claim that later
- If the wire or USB component is broken, this can more easily be fixed
- If the actual sensor itself is broken, this is very difficult or impossible to fix and it may be better to just buy a new one.
If you decide you want to look into Dentimax Sensors for yourself email David@Dentimax.com and mention Practice Biopsy for the best and latest deals.
Kaizen…..get a little bit better, every day.