October 2013, Volume 9, Issue 10
Published by AEGIS Communications
How to SWIFTly Optimize Your Practice
Air Techniques’ ScanX Swift™ offers speedy digital images affordably
The decision to incorporate digital radiography into a practice requires careful consideration of factors such as practice type and size, office size, number of hygienists, and budget.
For routine digital radiography, there are two options—phosphor storage plates (or flexible, cordless phosphor sensors) and hard digital sensors. Both enable digital storing and retrieval of images, but each system has distinct advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantages of hard sensors are reduced radiation—compared to phosphor x-rays—and greater speed. However, hard sensors are costly—they must be purchased in a variety of sizes for each operatory and they are fragile and break easily, making it advisable to purchase a service contract. Hard sensors are also generally less comfortable in the mouth for patients than phosphor systems. When factoring in the maintenance contracts and the purchase of a variety of hard sensors in different sizes, this option provides little return of investment for most dentists.
Flexible, cordless phosphor sensors are similar in size and comfort to traditional radiographs but require less radiation—although the radiation dose is greater than with the hard sensors. These phosphor sensors are flexible, so they won’t break or become damaged when dropped on the floor. They are also far less costly than hard sensors—even considering that they eventually are likely to scratch and require replacement—because they are inexpensive. The biggest disadvantage of these systems is that the phosphor sensor must go into a digital developer for processing, so the image is not instantaneous as with a hard sensor.
Air Techniques has successfully overcome some of the aforementioned issues with digital radiography. The ScanX system uses thin phosphor sensors 30 times thinner than traditional hard sensors. These sensors or plates, which come in three sizes—0, 1, and 2—are comfortable for virtually all patients, making it easier to capture the x-ray whether the patient is a child or an adult or if he or she has limited opening or tori that may impede on the sensor. Although a digital processor is still necessary, Air Techniques has recently introduced ScanX Swift, a unique, small digital imaging device that fits on the countertop in the operatory. Once connected to a computer, a phosphor sensor is placed into the ScanX Swift, and 9 seconds later, the image is displayed onto the screen. It offers the speed required to avoid disruption of treatment continuity so important in endodontic procedures and implant procedures.
The author regards ScanX Swift as a total office solution for practices such as his own five-operatory dental office. By placing a ScanX Swift in each operatory, the dentist’s workflow is streamlined with no adverse effects on the hygiene workflow.
All in all, Air Techniques has largely overcome the main disadvantages experienced with wired or wireless sensors—even the time and chemicals previously required to develop phosphor sensors (plates). Dentists currently using or considering using phosphor sensor technology in their offices should consider ScanX Swift, which the author believes is likely to rapidly become the total office solution for busy dental offices with multiple treatment providers..
About the Author
Ron Kaminer, DDS, is in private practice on Long Island, New York.
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The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.