Should I go digital?

This is a common question. When most people ask this what they are intending to ask is, should I convert to digital radiography? However there is much more to “going digital” than just digital radiography.

The word digitize literally means to turn something into digits or numbers. In a more practical sense it means to turn something into the electronic language a computer can understand. It is of course possible to digitize an x-ray. However it is also possible to digitize words and numbers which means you can digitize a patient chart or a daily schedule. You can also digitize sounds, photos, movies and even solid objects.

Truly “going digital” starts with a lot more than radiography. In fact it is not a good idea to install digital radiography until you have already established the core of a digital office. This core includes a complete integrated practice management system, a computer network with computers in the treatment rooms and office protocols to use the system for at least part of the patients chart and the office schedule.

So, the answer is yes, every dental office should be using digital radiography. On the other hand if you think “going digital” is just about radiography you aren’t ready yet.