Don’t Do It!

When you hand a printed radiograph to an experienced (old) dentist the first thing he/she does it hold it up to the light to look through the solid paper. That makes as much sense as printing it in the first place, and is done for the same reason. That’s just the way we’ve always done it.

The urge to print out the x-rays is a throwback to film. There is rarely a good reason to make a physical hard copy. After all one of the primary benefits is that the image is digital, the data can be stored transmitted and enhanced with a computer. Once it is printed you lose all that.

You do not need to print it for the chart it is stored as an electronic record.

You do not need to print it for someone else; it is quite easy to transmit the digital image to anyone with a computer. It could be send via Internet or copied to removable media.

You do not need to print it for diagnosis; in fact diagnosis from a hard copy is extremely limited compared to an enhanced digital image.

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