The following guidelines are from Lorne Lavine at the Digital Dentist
Here are some basic guidelines to follow for choosing a monitor for the dental operatory:
All LCD monitors have a “native” resolution, the resolution at which they should be run. As the size of the monitor goes up, so does the resolution…but this often will lead to smaller icons on the screen. Most offices in 2006 are using 19″ monitors for the patient and 17″ for the doctor/assistant.
One of the important criteria for choosing a monitor for digital radiography is the contrast ratio, which is the difference between the lightest white and the darkest black. This is obviously important for viewing digital radiographs and diagnosing caries. Look for a minimum 500:1 or greater contrast ratio; many of the better monitors out there are 600:1 to 1000:1.
If you plan to mount the monitor to an arm, you’re going to want to try to use a monitor that doesn’t have a power “brick” in the middle of the cord, as the bricks will not fit inside the arm assembly.
The vast majority of offices are using two monitors in each operatory, one for the patient, and one for the doctor/assistant. Any HIPAA-sensitive information (your schedule with the patient names, for example) must stay on a rear monitor where the patients cannot see it.
When planning for monitor placement, ergonomics are the key. Think about where the monitor is located and how you turn your head or neck to view it, as this can cause some long-term problems. For example, if you plan to mount a monitor to the ceiling, this would be for patient use only, since you’d have to stretch your neck up to view the screen.
A Few Good Options
Monitor with no TV or speakers: Dell 1707 and 1907. None of the Dell monitors have speakers, so if you need sound, you’ll need the optional Sound Bar.
Monitor with TV: Samsung 940MW. Another option is the Planar XP17W.
“Medical Grade” Monitor: Many offices want a monitor they can wipe down. I love the Exorvision monitors as not only are they fluid-impervious, but they are touchscreen and have TV tuners as an option.