How Many Sensors do you Need?

by Larry Emmott on December 20, 2012

in Radiography

How many corded digital radiography sensors do you need? To understand the answer to this question ask yourself how many dark rooms or automatic processors did I need? The answer of course is one.

A corded sensor is not just a film substitute it is a processor substitute as well. Think of it as a reusable film that processes an x-ray in four seconds and then can be used again. If you could run your office with one automatic film processor you can run it with one corded sensor.

This is an important idea to understand because the sensor is the most expensive part of the system. A typical sensor will retail for about $8,000. I have found many dentists holding back on going with digital radiography because of cost. They have the mistaken idea that they will need two, three or even more sensors. That makes the cost of going digital $30,000 or more. In fact with one sensor the total cost should be no more than $12,000.

Most of the radiographs we take each day are taken in hygiene. The time to take re-call x-rays with a corded sensor (no developing, mounting etc.) is less than four minutes. Not every re-call patient needs x-rays. If you had three hygienists and all three hygiene patients need re-call x-rays there is plenty of time to move the corded sensor to each room during the 45 to 60 min appointment. One sensor can easily serve three or four hygienists just like one film processor or scanner can serve three or four hygienists.

Dentists take radiographs on endo and emergencies. There will be many days when the dentists never takes an x-ray. When the dentist needs the sensor just go and get it. It may be in use but the wait will only be a few minutes. It is less likely to be in use than the old auto processor and the wait will be shorter.

The idea that you need multiple sensors is just not true. However as a last resort, if you try using one sensor and it just doesn’t work, they will sell you another one!

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{ 1 comment }

jens Kuehnemann April 14, 2009 at 6:15 am

this is money well spent.
being still an asociate i was quite disappointed to see that the practice i am working at now does not use digital radiography like the one i used to work before. having had the experience of a digital xray system i really miss the comfort and the time saved. again a person that never experienced the advantages or/and is a bit techno phobic is very hard to convince that spending 8k on a sensor is the right thing to to… .

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