Intraoral Sensors Uncensored

One of the most widely used and vital pieces of dental technology is the Intraoral sensor.  High quality, diagnostic images are of the utmost importance in the dental field.  Making sure you are getting the most out of your intraoral sensors means knowing which products have the best track record and being able to troubleshoot as needed.  We have been working behind the scenes for our clients for over a decade and have dealt with almost any sensor and sensor issue.  In this week's blog we are going to provide you with troubleshooting steps for most sensors, run through some sensor options (common and not recommended), best practices for maintaining sensors, and some do's and don'ts for sourcing intraoral sensors.

Troubleshooting Your Intraoral Sensor

Some of the most common service requests we receive from our clients are in regards to intraoral sensors.  With quality varying so widely between brands and products it's no wonder that we've built some pretty strong opinions based on our experiences, but we will get to that later.  Something we realized early on is that the level of expertise it takes to troubleshoot an intraoral sensor is actually pretty minimal.  Most issues our clients face with intraoral cameras can be addressed by the office staff themselves but if the issues keep coming back it may be time to consider investing in your diagnostic imaging.  Below we've provided two checklists for troubleshooting your intraoral sensor.

Most Common Intraoral Sensor Brands (In Order of Quality)

Kavo - Quality Product, good driver support, widely compatible with other imaging software

Vatech - Quality product, EzDent software is very nice and simple to service

Schick - Expensive with no real benefit over comparable options

Carestream RVG - Software is not recommended, would advise against

XDR - Software is unreliable, support is pricy and slow

Intraoral Sensors to Avoid

Tuxedo - Bad driver support with modern Windows OS

Clio - Low quality "knockoff" of Kavo products, fail constantly

Jazz - Device quality is not the problem, the software is not good

There are plenty of places to save money in your practice but skimping on your intraoral sensor seems to always lead to trouble in our experience.  As this is a vital tool for your practice it makes sense to do it right the first time, pick a sensor that has great reviews and is easy to service, if you can find a quality warranty that helps as well.

Best Practices

Notoriously finicky, an intraoral sensor requires some careful handling to ensure that it works properly and maintains some level of longevity.  The good news is, by following some best practices you may be able to extend the life of this important component of your practice.

  • Intraoral sensor cables are fragile, keep them away from traffic (human or other equipment) and never rest anything on them
  • USB connection is also quite fragile, we advise using a dongle or extender to reduce ware and tear
  • Traveling sensors break, almost like they were built for it.  If you plan to use multiple rooms, outfit each room with it's own sensor
  • CMOS frequently breaks due to fragile materials, again handle with care to avoid this common pitfall

Intraoral Sensor Sourcing Do's and Don'ts

When purchasing an intraoral sensor the impulse to save a little can be strong and there are a variety of ways to go about that.  However, with so much riding on imaging results, you want to make sure you are getting a high quality product you can rely on.  When it comes to sourcing the product itself you could always go for a listing site like Amazon but there is extreme downside.  Sites like Amazon are riddled with cheap knockoffs offering an inferior product without a warranty when the product fails.  It is important to go straight to the manufacturer or a reputable dental-specific vendor.  By doing so, you will get what you pay for and a warranty to back it up.  Along the same lines is the idea of purchasing used sensors, certainly a way to save some money but as we have outlined already this product is notoriously finicky.  When purchasing a used item you are very likely purchasing someone else's headache.  Let's say the product you are looking at is in perfect working order, you still won't received the benefit of a warranty if you aren't the original owner.

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Darkhorse Dental IT Is Here For You

We understand that caring for your patients is your top priority. Dealing with a computer issue, slow IT response time or HIPAA compliance requirements just aren’t high on your list of to-do’s. That’s where Darkhorse Dental Tech comes in. Our team of Dental IT specialists are experts when it comes to running a great, secure and successful practice —and so much more. Whether you’re looking for IT services for startups, or existing support and security services for your practice, Darkhorse can do it all for you, so you can get back to your patients.

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