ScanX Swift™: Comfortable, Convenient, Affordable PSP Digital Imaging
Saint Paul, Minnesota, private practitioner Mark I. Malterud, DDS, was sold on the concept of digital radiography after first purchasing equipment made by the then-leader in sensor technology more than 12 years ago. “The ease of use and ability to manipulate data makes it easy to educate our patients about their present dental status and to compare current radiographs with past ones for progression of any disease process,” he explains.
Malterud acknowledges, however, that there were times when the hard sensors used with the technology were somewhat limiting. “They could be difficult to insert during root canals or to capture clinical crowns due to low palates, and many patients found them uncomfortable. It made taking bitewings on small children especially difficult,” he notes.
Although smaller sensors were available, Malterud considered them to be cost-prohibitive for his small solo practice—until he learned about Air Techniques’ ScanX Swift™, a compact, chairside digital radiography solution that uses photo stimulable phosphor (PSP) technology, with thin, flexible, wireless PSP imaging plates. The system, Malterud affirms, provides ample comfort for every patient and works with image sizes 0, 1, 2, and 3. (Note: The large ScanX Classic provides sizes 0 to 4, plus panoramic, cephalometric, and TMJ.)
Malterud found this solution met both his financial and clinical needs and did not demand significant staff training, because the method was similar to the familiar approach the practice previously used with film. “For less than the price of a new smaller sensor, we could easily take those more difficult aforementioned radiographs using techniques that all of our team has been trained in, and we could digitize the images in seconds,” he asserts. “The phosphor plate technology allows us to take pictures comfortably for those patients with low palates, large or sensitive tori, narrow arches, shallow floors of the mouth, and small mouths. Using a thin size 0 plate for a pediatric patient, for example, makes all the difference in the world.”
Given that he had bypassed PSP technology in his original decision to go digital, Malterud says, “We never expected a phosphor plate system to be our ‘go-to’ radiograph when dealing with the limitations of digital radiography.” But the addition of the Air Techniques technology, he says, offered greater flexibility and improved diagnostic ability.
“Frankly, there were times when we were not able to take pictures in the office to complete our diagnoses. Now with the three sizes of phosphor plates we are able to consistently obtain our diagnostic images and offer early treatment, and, consequently, our patients are getting better care,” he says.
Malterud says he appreciates that ScanX also provides a safety net in the event of an imaging software or sensor problem. “I now have the ability to weather this type of barrier to the smooth flow of our practice with a backup that is less expensive than having an extra sensor available.”
Using the ScanX system also is convenient for when more than one imaging device is needed. “No longer do we need to keep passing around the sensor from room to room,” Malterud exclaims. “Now someone can be taking a full-mouth radiograph using the digital sensor at the same time I am doing a root canal without needing to switch the sensor to a new room.”
From a practice management perspective, Malterud says the thorough diagnosis afforded by ScanX greatly improves the ability to offer patients the treatments they want or need, and to charge consistently for the diagnostic services and subsequent restorative treatments rendered. This, he suggests, not only impacts the bottom line, but offers a hedge against potential litigation due to diagnosis errors that could have been avoided.
“The small footprint size of the ScanX Swift is just right for our practice. While having an image transfer unit in each operatory would be ideal, our office is able to maintain a good workflow between PSP and conventional digital imaging,” Malterud concludes.
Air Techniques, Inc.
1295 Walt Whitman Rd
Melville, New York 11747