Most dental offices will need three different types of computers, a server, business workstations and clinical workstations. Each computer type will have different specifications depending on the job it must do.
Server: This is the main computer which stores all the data and distributes it to the other workstations. This machine should have a powerful processor, lots of memory and big dual hard drives for storage. It does not need any sound or multi-media capabilities. A server for most dental offices will cost from $3,000 to $3,500.
Business Workstations: These are the front desk stations. These will be the least powerful machines in the office. They have modest processing requirements, need virtually no hard drive storage and do not need sound or multi-media. A business workstation will cost $1,000 or less.
Clinical Workstations: These are the chairside computers and these will need to be much more powerful than the business machines. Chairside computers will be used for patient education, image management, digital radiography, cosmetic imaging, entertainment, intra-oral camera capture and much more. These machines need full multi media capability including sound, CD or DVD, powerful processors and lots of memory. A clinical workstation will cost from $1,800 to $2,200.