Air Techniques is the leader in phosphor storage plate technology.
It may be hard to believe, but a significant number of dental practices have still not made the switch to digital radiography despite all the advantages and efficiencies that are gained by “going digital.” The primary barriers to entry for the integration of virtually any piece of major technology into the dental practice are cost and the learning curve.
Today more than ever, emphasis is on efficiency as well as ensuring that the practice keeps up with technology. With ever-increasing pressure to lower practice overhead, compete effectively in the local market, and to attract and retain new tech-savvy patients through a state-of-the-art practice, dentists are seeking faster and easier ways to upgrade their practices.
Making the Transition
When it comes to transitioning from film to digital radiography, dentists have many options. Depending on the requirements of the practice, which include the types of radiographs that need to be supported as well as budgeted, there are 2 primary technologies to choose between—phosphor storage plate (PSP) technology and sensor technology. Both have their advantages and both bring all of the benefits of digital radiography, including electronic image capture for viewing and archiving, the elimination of film and the associated chemicals and processing, increased efficiency to produce images, and decreased overall maintenance. However, PSP technology offers some things that sensor technology does not, including wireless application and a nearly seamless transition from film to digital with virtually no change in actual technique when taking the radiograph.
The market leader in PSP digital technology is Air Techniques (Melville, New York) through its line of ScanX imaging systems. With 3 individual systems that each offer full digital capability, there is a ScanX product that is sure to meet the radiographic needs of every dental practice. Each ScanX product works with existing x-ray equipment to capture an image in seconds, completing a full mouth series in as little as 2 minutes. ScanX systems incorporate In-Line Erase and Intelligent Track Control technologies, and most importantly, can easily convert all film-based systems to digital. The original ScanX Classic was introduced in 2002 and supports the conversion of both panoramic and cephalometric to digital and also accepts intraoral sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. For practices that strictly have the need for intraoral radiographs, the ScanX Intraoral is the preferred solution. If a practice prefers to process images in the operatory, ScanX Duo provides intraoral digital images through a compact system that takes up less than 12 inches of counterspace.
Improving the Process
While PSP technology is set apart from sensor technology by differences in comfort and long-term cost, Air Techniques has further developed technology that improves the way in which digital images are processed and distributed. Each ScanX product comes with In-Line Erase, a feature that erases and prepares phosphor plates for reuse immediately after the plate is read by the system. This means that once a digital image is captured, the plate is ready to capture the next image. No secondary erase function is needed with any of the ScanX imaging systems. Not only are phosphor plates reusable, they are inexpensive and require no wiring. In addition, they are easily accepted by patients, even pediatric patients, because of their ultra-thin design, flexibility, and resulting comfort. The easy placement of phosphor plates supported by the range of plate sizes to suit the clinical needs of the case means that accurate images are captured the first time. For practices with multiple operatories, the Intelligent Track Control feature that is standard on all ScanX products provides the ability to process multiple shots by 2 operators at the same time, when paired with Visix Imaging Software. Once the images are captured, they are directed to the proper patient records in the appropriate operatory for immediate review by the dentist with the patient.
Through the use of multiple technologies, Air Techniques delivers a digital imaging solution that breaks down barriers by virtually eliminating the learning curve and ensuring a fast return on investment through savings in materials such as film, chemicals, and cleaners as well as in processing time. When images are made available quickly and retakes are kept to a minimum because of accuracy of placement and patient acceptance, both dentist and patient can spend their time reviewing results and planning treatment rather than waiting on results.
A Network of Support
ScanX Digital Imaging Systems are supported by a wide network of authorized dealers through which the systems are sold and supported. Authorized Air Techniques dealers provide experienced dental technicians who can make inoffice calls to aid with product support. Air Techniques continues to train and certify these technicians on an annual basis both on-site as well as at their headquarters in Melville, New York. To provide maximum value, these highly qualified dental technicians are trained to provide service to the dental practice for all Air Techniques products, including ScanX digital imaging systems.
Reaping the Benefits
Making the transition from film to digital radiography is made simple, efficient, and cost effective with any of the 3 ScanX products—Classic, Intraoral, or Duo. With technologies like In-Line Erase and Intelligent Track Control that have been incorporated into all 3 systems since the original introduction of the product line, Air Techniques ensures that dental practices reap the benefits of PSP technology with maximum efficiency and functionality with any ScanX product a practice chooses to incorporate. Regardless of the volume and clinical application needs, there is a ScanX system that can quickly and painlessly transition any practice, and any existing x-ray equipment, from film to digital. —Monica Roy-Smith