Most dental practices up to the present use proprietary imaging systems, also known as “closed” systems, which exclusively use dental hardware and software from a single company brand. Proprietary dental systems, although efficient and popular, prohibit dentists from sharing dental information such as general patient information (name, date, address), dental records, and now more commonly, digital impressions.
The Disadvantages of the Proprietary System
At first, this inability to share patient information probably sounds appropriate, considering patient confidentiality. But you’ll probably come across problems when you need a group analysis for a specific patient condition. You don’t have the option to forward a patient’s impression or radiographic images to a professional colleague to get valuable input.
In addition, if a patient relocates or needs to see a specialist, you can’t digitally forward their records unless their new specialist has the same company brand of processing, milling, and internet software as you do. With a proprietary practice, the current dentist is required to find an alternate way to forward information, which usually includes a lot of paperwork and time.
As a result, proprietary systems force you to invest in only specific company brands. If your office accidentally purchases the wrong system, you’ve completely wasted that investment. Each practice is extremely limited to which pieces of equipment it can purchase.
The Advantage of Interoperability Systems
Interoperability systems, or “open” systems, provide the perfect solution, allowing you to easily share digital information among all other open systems. Some additional advantages:
- Patients receive the best available care
- Dental offices purchase only the best, most efficient equipment pieces
- You can collaborate on a patient’s diagnosis
- Patients can have their dental records easily forwarded to a specialist or their new dentist in the event that they change locations
The AHA, American Dental Association, is making strides to ensure all systems are open to digital sharing. Interoperability systems work the best when dental offices purchase only open systems, offering greater collaboration among practices and a wider patient reach. Hopefully we’ll continue to see practices purchase only “open” interoperability systems. The AHA as well as the IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) are working together to help dentists like you choose only interoperability systems.
Dental Image Accessories
As always, if you are looking to purchase affordable dental image accessories that accommodate your specific dental imaging system, we are happy to provide you products and services. Feel free to chat online or call to ask for a quote!
Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to dental radiographic images, you’re allowed little margin for error. Dental imaging mistakes will lead to at least three consequences:
You’ll have to retake the images, which exposes the patient to more radiation.
You’ll waste equipment and time, which in essence is money.
You’ll encourage inaccurate diagnosis.
So what are the most common dental imaging mistakes to avoid?
Most mistakes are fairly simple to avoid if you stay alert.
Projection mistakes occur when the patient isn’t adequately prepared for the imaging process. All metal objects will show up on the dental imaging plate and obstruct the view of interest. To prepare the patient, request that he/her remove all facial obstacles like earrings, necklaces, hearing aids, and glasses.
Exposure mistakes are directly related to varying densities. If the image has a high density of radiation, the image will appear mostly black with indistinguishable shadows. On the flip side, if the image has a low density, it’ll appear washed out and pale. To promote accurate diagnosis, ensure the exposure is correct before taking the images.
Dirty imaging processing equipment will also lead to errors. Artifacts like fingerprints, dust particles, scratches, and static electricity leave behind patterns that can be confused with oral diseases. Make sure all your equipment is properly cleaned after frequent use.
So keep these mistakes in the back of your mind when you’re conducting the next imaging procedure. However, if your dental imaging equipment is outdated or overused, there’s a risk your images will still come out faulty even if you conduct the process perfectly. For all your radiology accessory needs, we are here to help!